Venice ’70 per cent underwater’

Monday, 12 November 2012 10:23 AM

‘Acqua alta' occurs mainly between autumn and spring

‘Acqua alta' occurs mainly between autumn and spring

The phenomenon of acqua alta (high water) has been particularly severe in Venice this year.

Around 70 per cent of Venice was flooded after several days of relentless rain and rising sea levels, which reached a peak of 1.5 metres (five feet) above normal – the sixth highest tide levels since 1872.

‘Acqua alta' occurs mainly between autumn and spring when a combination of astronomical tides, scirocco (strong south winds) and seiche (the periodic movement of sea waters) can cause a larger inflow of water into Venice.

Elsewhere in Italy, the bad weather led to the evacuation of 200 people in Tuscany, as the heavy rain flooded homes and caused mudslides.

The most affected region was the province of Massa and Carrara, which produces the famous Carrara marble.

Streets in Pisa were also flooded and homes left without electricity.

The bad weather is said to be heading slowly towards the centre of the country and is set to hit Rome.

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