13 November 2019
Sunken boats, vaporetti and gondolas that have ended up on the bridges and on the banks. Via Garibaldi covered in water, with a current that seemed like a river in flood. People were unable to move.
An aqua alta that involved everything, with wind gusts of 100 Kmh. There was the wharf at Giardini that came off, the shattered windows at the Cassa di Risparmio, the kiosk that caught fire. Outdoor restaurant seating was destroyed across the city, trees and lampposts have fallen, and Sant’Elena looks like a tornado hit it.
Then the lights began flickering in some areas, and there was a blackout in Rio Marin, Santa Margherito San Basilio. There were the predictions that rose from 155 up to 190 cm. It’s the story of a night of fear in Venice, to the notes of the acqua alta siren that continued to sound.
All the first responders are in the water, while on the streets they cry with fear: the acqua granda has returned, the highest ever. Instead it is the second, reaching 187 cm, while the historic flood of 1966 reached 194 cm. But we came close. Too close. For a few hours information arrives in fits and starts: the islands are flooded, Torcello is under a half meter of water, they’re considering evacuating Pellestrina, while the news speaks of two people killed, of which one was electrocuted.
But they’re not doing well at Lido and Malamocco, and on Giudecca it’s dangerous to walk because the tide is so high that people risk being pulled off the fondamenta into the canal.
The high wind ripped off the ACTV wharf at Giardini, and a man was inside, who slipped and injured a leg. He was alone on the pontoon, which was now floating in the middle of the Canal. He called for help, and fortunately at that moment a boat passed by.
It was not just any boat, but the motorboat of Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, who was passing through the area, and stopped to rescue him. Moments of fear in Venice, fear which tomorrow will translate in accounting for the damage. Because the tide then gradually goes out, and leaves rubble and debris everywhere.
Not to mention boats, taxis, vaporetti and gondolas on the fondamentas and the bridges. Great damage, for which the Mayor has already announced, yesterday evening at Piazza San Marco, the state of calamity for the city of water, and the request to the government to “Participate and understand at what level is the organization of MoSE – said Brugnaro – because here you really risk not being able to make it anymore”.
Words that weigh like boulders, and come before the news that the schools will remain closed in the historic center of Venice. This is also because in the morning another “peak” of acqua alta is expected, and according to the forecasts there will again be exceptional levels.
The photos we are receiving all show the disaster of a nightmare night. This last photo shows the fondamenta delle Zattere, and the empty spot where before was a news stand, now swept away by the current.
Source: La Voce di Venezia