Mother Nature is up to her usual and unforgiving ways once again, and one of Europe’s most scenic cities is paying the price. The legendary canals of Venice are drying up due to the cold winter weather and lack of precipitation. The recent ‘super blue blood moon’ is to blame, leaving the ‘Queen Of The Adriatic’ looking far below its usual self, literally.
The storied waterways have seen a drop of up to 23 inches in depth, forcing gondolas to halt their romantic journeys. As the water levels decrease, the population has followed. In the last half a century, Venice’s population has dwindled from 175,000 to about 55,000 people. According to the Daily Mail, this is due to the increase in prices, the boom of tourism, challenges of supplying a car-less city, and the erosion of canal-side apartments buildings due to lapping waters.
This is now the third consecutive year where Venice has taken a hit. Just two years ago, water levels dropped 28 inches below normal, resulting in the stop of transportation by gondola and water taxis. The record was set in 1934 when an unusually low tide led to water level drops of 121 cm. The tourist hotspot faces flooding multiple times a year, disrupting everyday life functions of the ‘The City Of Water’.
Fortunately, The Grand Canal, Venice’s main traffic corridor, has remained open for water travel, diverting from smaller channels, and saving the day for the tourists who have made their way to the iconic Italian city.
Naturally, social media was abuzz as people suggested that a drought has ensued. Italian forecasters quickly dismissed that, and instead delivered uplifting optimism, as water levels were due to return to normal due to projected rainfall.
According to The Independent, a report published just a year ago warned that Venice was at risk of chronic flooding, which could potentially result in the city being permanently underwater by the end of the century. Furthermore, researchers reported that the entire Mediterranean Sea is due to rise up by a whopping 140 cm, which would flood up to 5,500 square kilometers of coastal plains.
Although this isn’t the first time, and likely not the last, Venice continues to persevere through the obstacles of being a city engulfed by water. Through the curve balls that Mother Nature continues to throw, Venice remains afloat as one of the staples of Italian tourism.
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