Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Italy: Venice Canals Run Dry amid Drought Fears

Wed 22 Feb 2023 | 06:39 AM
Taarek Refaat

Low tide in Venice has dried up the canals of the popular tourist city, amid fears that Italy could face another drought.

Current water levels have made it impossible for gondolas, water taxis and ambulances to navigate parts of the city, also disrupting the annual carnival that last year drew some 100,000 revelers to Venice.

Alves Papa, head of the Venice Tidal Center, said it had been at least 15 years since the last time water levels in the city saw such a drop, more than 50 cm below the usual average.

The minimum safe distance to move through the canals of Venice is 60cm, and emergency services have warned they are unable to reach some residents in their homes.

And circulating pictures showed the goosenecks stuck in the channels that turned into muddy trenches, and revealed the ancient foundations of the buildings.

This phenomenon is blamed on a combination of factors, including a lack of rain, a high-pressure system, a full moon, and ocean currents.

There are also fears that Italy could face another drought after last summer's emergency, when the Alps saw less than half of the usual snowfall, according to scientists and environmental groups.