Today the Mose saved Venice from potentially devastating flooding

One of the highest tides in history was recorded in Venice today: 173 cm at the Punta Salute inlet, the third highest level ever. But the Mose bulkheads prevented the city from flooding. With similar levels, past years had seen disasters.

The Mose saves Venice from one of the highest tides in history. On the morning of today, Nov. 22, the water at the Malamocco inlet reached a record level of 204 cm, and that of 173 cm at the Punta Salute inlet, in the San Marco basin, i.e., the reference point for recording historical data. The city was left high and dry: suffice it to say that, with similar levels, in previous years the city had ended up underwater, and in disarray. It had happened in 2019, when the exceptional high water that hit the city on the night of Nov. 12-13, peaking at 187 cm (the second highest ever recorded) caused the death of two people and extensive damage throughout the city.

The historical record remains the one touched on November 4, 1966, the day of the infamous flood that has gone down in history as the “Acqua granda”: 194 cm of tide on the mid-sea, recorded at Punta Salute, which caused the death of 3 people and serious damage, worth many billions of liras, throughout the historic center. Today’s was thus the third highest tide ever, and without the Mose more than 80% of the city would have gone underwater. The Mose (an acronym for MOdulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico) first went into operation in October 2020 repelling a 135-centimeter wave, but it had never been measured with water as high at record levels as it was this morning. And it will remain in operation for the day tomorrow at all lagoon inlets: a level of 145 centimeters is expected.

“Everything went according to procedure,” commented Mose Special Commissioner Elisabetta Spitz, “it was a very important test. The work done in recent years has contributed greatly to making the lifting operations increasingly efficient.”

“The Mose is facing the highest tide in 50 years (over two meters at the Bocca di Porto di Malamocco, ed.),” said Infrastructure Minister Matteo Salvini, “without those barriers Venice would be catastrophically submerged. Despite the ’Mr. No’ those barriers are saving a heritage of humanity.”

“Denigrating is so easy,” Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said instead, recalling the protests against the Mose, “we use the city of Venice and these fantastic settings to destroy work and science.” Finally, for the president of the Veneto Region, Luca Zaia, “if there was no Mose, we would already have a disaster on Venice.”

Pictured: St. Mark’s Square this morning during the peak of the tide.

Today the Mose saved Venice from potentially devastating flooding
Today the Mose saved Venice from potentially devastating flooding

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