Updated: Italy – Storms Turn Deadly, Worst Flooding in 50 Years in Venice

Update, 16 November 2019

Another high tide hit Venice again on 15 November, flooding the city once again just 3 days after the second highest tide on record left over 80% of the city under water.

Authorities said the high tide reached 1.54 metres on 15 November. A further high tide of similar levels is expected between 17 and 18 November.

On 11 November week Venice experienced a high tide of 1.87 metres, causing the worst flooding in 50 years.

Venice floods 17 November 2019. Photo: Commune of Venice

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Original Report, 13 November 2019

Severe weather has affected wide areas of Italy since 11 November, causing the worst flooding in 50 years in Venice, along with wind, storm surge and flood damage in southern regions.

Floods in Venice, November 2019. Photo: Commune of Venice

Venice and Northern Italy

Strong winds, heavy rain and seasonal high tides in Venice combined to trigger the worst flooding in over 50 years.

Late on 12 November, 2019, the high tide reached 1.87 metres, just below the record 1.94m set in 1996. Authorities said as much as 80% of the city was under water which was over 1 metre deep in some areas.

Widespread damage was reported to boats and buildings. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro estimated that the costs will run into several hundred million euros. Local authorities called for a state of emergency to be imposed.

Firefighters carried out over 400 interventions in the Venice areas since, including several fires caused by flood water coming into contact with electrical appliances. Several people were rescued by the Coast Guard. Local media have blamed 2 deaths on the severe weather. Both fatalities occurred on the island of Pellestrina.

Also in the north of Italy, firefighters and rescue teams have carried out 280 interventions in South Tyrol (Alto Adige) after strong winds and heavy snowfall of 40cm. As many as 15,000 people were left without power. Some flooding was reported in the city of Bolzano.

Floods in Venice, 12 November 2019. Photo: Commune of Venice

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Southern Italy

Severe weather including strong winds, heavy rain, rough seas and storm surge hit southern regions of Italy from 11 November, 2019.

Firefighters have carried out over 800 operations responding to wind damage, landslides and floods in Calabria, Sicilia, Puglia and Basilicata.

One person died as a result of wind damage in Altamura in Puglia, where flooding was also reported. Elsewhere in the region a tornado in Porto Cesareo in Salento, caused severe damaged.

In Basilicata, the coastal town of Metaponto was also hit by a tornado, while the city of Matera suffered serious flash flooding on 12 November, with roads and houses damaged.

Ferries have been docked in ports since 11 November due to rough seas, leaving the Aeolian islands off Sicily isolated.

A huge sinkhole, thought to have been triggered by the heavy rain, severely damage a road in Naples, prompting several houses to be evacuated.

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