Italy has alsoinvested billions of eurosin a flood-protection system known by the acronym MOSE, but its offshore underwater dams have yet to be completed.
Though Venetian residents have gotten used to wading through flooded streets, strong winds on Tuesday coincided with the high tide, submerging the city.
“Acqua alta has always been normal, ”said Lorenzo Bonometto, an expert on lagoon ecology. But the combined high tide and strong winds made the result “an exceptional event,” he said.
The frequency of acqua alta has become more troubling, experts say, and is linked to rising seawater levels, not only in Venice, but also around the world.
Sea levels are rising “at a faster rate” than experts had expected, and that is having a greater impact on the lagoon city, Mr.
There is also the added fact that Venice is sinking.
Luigi Cavaleri, an engineer at the Institute of Marine Sciences in Venice said the city’s subsidence and the rising sea levels meant that Venice was sinking at a rate of one-fifth of an inch a year. That means that the city will be submerged by water more frequently.
Mr. Cavaleri saidlast year stormwas a much more serious event, but noted, “Floods will continue.”
Had theflood systembeen operational, he said , “The city might have been spared. Hopefully, it will be for the next flood. ”