Would you like to know which are the 3 highest tides that have ever occurred in the last 50 years of Venice's history?
Well, you will see in the article that we have not to go back that far. 3 of the highest tides of Venice's history, in fact, have occurred in the last 50 years.
We'll tell you even more: two of them occurred in the last 5 years. It's a great proof of the ongoing climate change, isn't it?
The 3 highest tides in the history of Venice: the most disastrous events of all times
We are going to tell you about these 3 big high tides that occurred in the history of Venice since we have any kind of record.
The highest tide dates back to 1966; the second highest tide to 2019, while the third to 2022. Yeah, just a few days ago!
Let's explore these great phenomena one by one.
Venice's highest tide ever: the so-called "acqua granda": November 4th, 1968
On November 4th, 1966, in Venice something so extraordinary happened that everyone here still refers to it as the "acqua granda". It means "big water".
In fact, on that day, there was a combination of some big and anomalous events.
High tide, heavy rains and a strong sirocco wind were occurring simultaneously, so that they caused an exceptionally high tide. The sea level rose to an unprecedented height and many Venetians lost their houses.
At 6 PM, the high tide reached 194 cm above the sea level. It was the greatest disaster of the modern times. The damages were massive not only for the city, but also for the shorelines.
Much of the city found itself with phones, electricity and gas out of service. The storm also caused flooding and very serious damage.
Luckily, worse consequences were avoided by the rotation of the wind in the evening, which allowed the water to flow away.
The Doge's Palace in St. Mark's Square was invaded by at least 1 meter and a half of water /3 feet of water so that the Venetians were forced to get around the historic city with the water reaching their shoulders.
That November 4th wasn't a disaster only for Venice: many other Italian cities suffered the consequences of bad water (especially Florence and Siena). However, Venice had to suffer the most, being isolated from the rest of the country for many days.
The second highest tide in the last 50 years of Venice history: November 12th and 13th, 2019
To analyze another great high tide phenomenon we have to jump to 2019. What happened on November 12th was the second highest tide ever recorded in modern times.
On the night between November 12th and 13th one of the most important exceptional high tide events of recent decades occurred in Venice.
A maximum peak height of 187 cm in fact was recorded, the highest tidal value since that of November 4, 1966.
The event led to the complete flooding of much of the city center and also caused severe damage to the city's heritage, with the flooding of St. Mark's Basilica (over a meter of water in the crypt!).
This exceptional event occurred only 6 times in the last hundred years!
The third highest tide in 50 years: November 22, 2022
The third highest water level was registered some days ago, on November 22nd, 2022.
Due to the bad weather, high water in Venice reached 173 centimeters on the Adriatic Sea.
However, this time Venice was saved by the Mose. In the Venetian lagoon, in fact, only 62 centimeters of tide were recorded at the Punta della Salute. Without the Mose, 82 percent of the historic city would have been flooded.
The event has been of great proportion but the Mose flood barrier protected the Chioggia area from a swell with 3-meter-high waves and wind gusts of over 50 kilometers per hour!
On this day, the bad weather has been so intense that multiple damages have occurred to the shorelines till Jesolo!
Mestre railway station also registered some difficulties.
On his social media accounts, the Venice mayor Luigi Brugnaro has written "6 o'clock... All Mose barriers are up. Emergency forces are activated, the City is being protected".
What would have happened if the Mose project had not protected Venice? A disaster for sure: the city would have been almost completely flooded.
Natural phenomena will be increasingly intense due to climate change
These intense phenomena will happen more and more in the near future.
Not only in Venice, though: if we do not do something to protect Venice and our entire world, we are destined to face increasingly frightening natural disasters.