High water floods Venice
St Mark's, Rialto areas hit21 January, 14:00
Low-lying areas such as St Mark's Square and the Rialto Bridge neighborhood barricaded storefronts as 105 centimeters of sea water crept over the banks of surrounding canals. Fog sat heavy on top of the lagoon and the surrounding mainland Veneto region. While flooding was moderate on Monday, floods have reached chest-high levels several times since this autumn, flooding stores and ground-floor apartments.
The causes are both natural and man-made.
Decades of pumping groundwater caused significant damage to the delicate foundation before the practice was called off.
Weather experts say the high-water threat has been increasing in recent years as heavier rains have hit northern Italy.
Other possible explanations for the phenomenon include the sea floor rising as a result of incoming silt and gas extraction in the sea off Venice undermining the islands.
According to a recent study, plate tectonics are also to blame as the Adriatic plate is sliding beneath the Apennine Mountains, causing the area to drop in elevation.