Strong winds and heavy seas in the Adriatic have brought back the regular problem of flooding to the canal-laced city of Venice, in northern Italy.
SCU / GV Pigeons fluttering in water on flooded pavement in Venice
GV PAN People walking through flooded square
GV People walking along flooded streets (2 shots)
GV Waterways (3 shots)
GV People in flooded square
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Background: Strong winds and heavy seas in the Adriatic have brought back the regular problem of flooding to the canal-laced city of Venice, in northern Italy.
SYNOPSIS: Three factors combine to bring the flood waters. They are a wind from the south, the position of the sun or moon, and a certain tilting of the floor of the Adriatic. Back in November 1966, the worst flooding of modern times put the pavements of St. Mark's Square under six feet (1.8 metres) of water, and damaged priceless artwork in churches.
In the mid-1960s, Venetians could expect his or medium-high water an average of one hundred times a year. But this has risen to an average of one hundred and fifty times a year. In 1973, the sum of three hundred and fifteen million pounds (about 630 million dollars) was appropriated to preserve the city from ultimate destruction. Only a fraction of this money has so far been spent on restoration, in part because projects must pass through twenty stages of approval, and many get shelved along the way.
However, strick control of artesian wells has stopped Venice from sinking. A recent study showed that the city, one of Europe's architectural and cultural masterpieces, has actually risen one inch from its level of ten years ago.