More than 75% of the Italian city of Venice was inundated by high tides, leaving most of the so-called “Floating City” with the worst flooding in a decade.
At least 11 people have died across Italy due to severe weather in the past days, including landslides and flooding.
Another reason Venice is flooded has to do with corruption. For decades, city officials have been planning and working to erect a series of flood barriers.
Construction on underwater flood barriers, known as the Moses project, started in 1966 but didn’t get going in earnest until 2004.
In 2014, Venice’s mayor Giorgio Orsoni, along with 30 others, was arrested for charges including corruption, illicit party financing, and tax fraud totaling $6.8 billion.
Orsoni was accused of taking roughly $635,000 (€560,000) in illicit campaign financing from the consortium behind the flood barrier.
If and when the project is finally completed and fully operational, flood gates will go up once the tide reaches 110 centimeters, or roughly 43 inches.
That won’t keep water out of low-lying areas, such as St. Mark’s Square, but it should protect much of Venice from flooding for roughly the next 3 decades, depending on how quickly sea level rises between now and then.