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History Repeats Itself in Venice

History Repeats Itself in Venice

Welcome to a new reoccurring series entitled “History Repeats Itself” where we look at stories of events taking place around the world and examples of where or how they have happened in a similar fashion in the past. 

The word from beautiful Venice is a familar one: record flooding. The international papers are a buzz with photos of people wandering around the beloved city of the sea in knee deep water.  All in all, the flooding is said to have reached 1.56 meters, making it the biggest flood in 22 years. But even in recent years there has been large scale flooding, which has become quite routine to the point that many businesses and touristic excursions remain in operation, flood waters and all.

Back in 1990 Venice was hit by flooding of a similar caliber, three years after the city had announced its multi-billion euro project MOSE, which involved the building of under water flood panels that would rise according to the water level to project the city rising water. Competing research teams have found that besides the threat of rising sea levels, Venice itself is actually sinking, some say as much as two millimeters per year.  As if that weren’t bad enough, another piece of research says the city is actually tilting to the east. Leaving many to doubt the impact of fancy state-of-the-art public works projects like MOSE that is set to be completed next year.

The city meanwhile carries on. Like the great flood of 1990 and the many that have come since then including this year, people are not discouraged by having to wear long boots and wade through a beautiful flooded square to get a picture in from of St. Mark’s church.  Many call the flooding routine, but what they may not realize is that even researchers who don’t completely agree on everything are clear that Venice’s days are numbered, no matter how normal you may think flooding is.

Source: Boston Globe

Photo: Roberto Trm / flickr


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