US News: Venice Is Flooding Because of Corruption - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US News Venice Is Flooding Because of Corruption

15:25  18 november  2019
15:25  18 november  2019 Source:   thedailybeast.com

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Hell or high water. Venice Is Flooding Because of Corruption . La Serenissima has long struggled with flooding as it sank deeper and deeper, but the recent crisis has been exacerbated by all too familiar corruption .

Hell or high water. Venice Is Flooding Because of Corruption . La Serenissima has long struggled with flooding as it sank deeper and deeper, but the recent crisis has been exacerbated by all too familiar corruption .

a group of people on a bridge over water: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE © Provided by The Daily Beast FILIPPO MONTEFORTE

In 1984, long before global warming and rising sea levels were common notions, Venice already was sinking. The future was so dire for the lagoon city that the local council voted to spend whatever it would take to study and then build a high-tech floodgate system to combat the rising Adriatic Sea. 

It took nearly 20 years and a starting budget of $1.8 billion to come up with the so-called “Moses” plan. The project is an acronym for Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico or Experimental Electromechanical Module, and plays on the name of the biblical figure who parted the Red Sea. 

Waters Close Over Venice

  Waters Close Over Venice Waters Close Over Venice

Venice Is Flooding Because of Corruption . In 1984, long before global warming and rising sea levels were common notions, Venice already was sinking. The future was so dire for the lagoon city that the local council voted to spend whatever it would take to study and then build a high-tech floodgate

Venice Is Flooding Because of Climate Change, But Corruption Is Keeping It Under Water.

Watch: Venice hit by record third exceptional tide (Time)

Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s then prime minister, inaugurated the project in 2003 with the promise it would be completed by 2011, which was pushed back to 2014, which was pushed back to 2016, and, at last check, to 2021. Had the project been completed in time, Moses’ 78 massive mechanical gates might have limited this week’s devastating floods, which inundated 85 percent of the city with a tidal surge that topped six feet, causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage and putting ancient treasures at risk. Moses likely would not have completely kept out the surge, experts say, but it would have certainly done more than the alternative, which was to do nothing but tally the damage and wait for the next high tide.

Flooded Venice had tourists taking selfies and residents in tears

  Flooded Venice had tourists taking selfies and residents in tears There’s a sense that life in one of the world’s most improbable and spellbinding cities is becoming unviable.  “The reaction is to cry,” said Flavia Feletti, 77, who has lived in Venice for six decades. “I am afraid there is no solution. When I went out the day after the flooding, I met a kind of funeral in the city.” Venice has thrived since the 5th century by taming the water all around it. In recent decades, even as the land has been sinking while the sea level has been rising, many Venetians figured the city would again find a way to evolve and hang on.

Venice Is Flooding Because of Climate Change, But Corruption Is Keeping It Under Water More than 75% of the Italian city of Venice was inundated by high

So why is Venice flooded ? One answer is climate change, which has turned the lagoon city’s proximity to the sea problematic in recent years. Another reason Venice is flooded has to do with corruption . For decades, city officials have been planning and working to erect a series of flood barriers meant to

Related: Flooded Venice had tourists taking selfies - and residents in tears

People take selfie photos at the flooded St. Mark's square © Getty People take selfie photos at the flooded St. Mark's square

In the 16 years since the Moses plan was put in place, the budget to finish the project has exploded to more than $7 billion and continues to bleed money at a dizzying rate. Some of the money has gone to bad management or corrupt contractors who have swindled the builders. In July, workers discovered that the 156 hinges—each weighing 36 tons—on the underwater barriers that were supposed to last a century are nearly rusted shut after just a decade under water. The job was awarded to a company called Gruppo Mantovani, which won the $275 million contract without there being a formal bid. La Stampa newspaper reports that the company used sub-par steel and is being investigated. Replacing the hinges will take a further 10 years and cost another $34 million, according to the Consorzio Venezia Nuova, which is in charge of the project.

Venice floods threaten priceless artwork and history — and a unique way of life

  Venice floods threaten priceless artwork and history — and a unique way of life “The threat is if Venice becomes uninhabitable by normal humans beings."As historic floods inundated Venice more than a half-century ago, one reader in Scotland wrote to the Guardian newspaper in London to express worry about the fate of the “astonishing, but soon-to-vanish” Italian city.

The flooding in Venice was caused by a combination of high spring tides and a meteorological storm surge driven by strong winds blowing north-eastwards across It has been plagued by corruption and bribery allegations. Is climate change behind Venice flooding ? By BBC meteorologist Nikki Berry.

Another reason Venice is flooded has to do with corruption . For decades, city officials have been planning and working to erect a series of flood barriers. Construction on underwater flood barriers, known as the Moses project, started in 1966 but didn’t get going in earnest until 2004.

More troubling still is that a lot of the money meant to finish the project has been siphoned away by rampant corruption. Several special funds fed by art lovers and patrons of the city that were meant to defray costs have disappeared into thin air. In 2014 after an investigation, Venice’s mayor Giorgio Orsoni resigned and 35 people tied to the project were arrested for bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering. The investigation traced some $27 million that had disappeared from the Moses coffers to kickbacks from contractors and foreign bank accounts allegedly used to line the pockets of about 100 people. 

Orsoni was accused of taking illicit funds in exchange for awarding lucrative contracts to sub-par companies. In some cases, the contracts were never fulfilled or were allocated for studies or other non-construction-related projects that were never delivered. Investigators said Orsoni used the money to run a successful re-election campaign and buy votes. Charges against him were eventually dropped after the statute of limitations ran out. 

Venice hit by third exceptional tide in less than a week

  Venice hit by third exceptional tide in less than a week Flooding also hit other parts of Italy on Sunday, including Florence and Pisa.Venetians have endured another exceptional tide in a season that is setting records.

In Venice , where the flood waters are only just now beginning to recede, police tweeted photos of officers rescuing tourists stranded by the rising waters. Elsewhere in the country, residents and tourists are stranded in areas where downed trees and washed out, debris-littered roadways hobbled travel.

More Flooding Expected for Venice as Tides Rise Higher. The project has not yet been activated, after being delayed a number of times due to corruption scandals, costs overruns and environmentalist opposition over its effects on Venice ’s lagoon ecosystem.

Related: Venice flooding marks highest tides in 50 years [USA Today]

a group of people standing on top of a pier: A man crosses the flooded St. Mark's Square after an exceptional overnight

Giancarlo Galan, a former president of the Veneto region, was also placed under investigation, accused of taking $230,000 in kickbacks to speed up approval of contracts without going through the rigorous checks the Consorzio required. The hinge fiasco was approved under his watch. Galan spent a few months in prison after being convicted of the crimes, and is currently on house arrest. 

Even Giovanni Mazzacurati, the head of the Consorzio, was arrested, accused of creating a slush fund with money meant to finish the floodgate, according to Carlo Nordio, the prosecutor who helped uncover the scam. Mazzacurati was convicted of the crimes and died while on house arrest in September. 

Related: World's most corrupt countries revealed (Lovemoney)

Good country, bad country: More than two-thirds of the world's countries have a serious corruption problem. From blatant bribery and rigged elections to embezzling public funds and intimidating or even bumping off political opponents and journalists, unethical dealings run rife across the planet. Using the latest data from Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), we count down the world’s least and most corrupt places.

But even if the gates are one day completed, they may already be obsolete. Back when city leaders decided to invest in the gates, St. Mark’s Square flooded a handful of times a year. Now, water creeps over the canal banks more than 100 times a year. As it was planned, 78 bright yellow floodgates will rise to part the sea using a system of compressed air and water displacement in what will eventually be one of the biggest engineering feats of its kind. The rising sea would essentially fill compartments inside the gates which are designed to rise to about a 90 degree angle to cut off the sea from the mouth of the lagoon. As the water recedes, the gates would slowly lower down, spilling out the displaced water back to the sea. The gate system would be activated when the tide hits 3 feet 7 inches. Flooding last Tuesday night reached 6 feet 2 inches, which is the highest the water has risen since 1966, when it hit 6 feet 4 inches. And the system was designed to be used just 20 times a year, but thanks to the rising sea levels, it would currently have to be closed once a day during rainy seasons. 

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Venice is flooded by the highest tides since 1960s – video. Two people have died as the highest Flood levels in the lagoon city reached the second-highest level since records began in 1923 as a Work began in 2003 but has been dogged by delays and myriad issues, including a corruption

Venice was hit with its worst flood in over 50 years this week, caused by a nearly 1.9 meter (6-foot) tide that had water in the streets. Against the backdrop of the disaster, a corruption -riddled underwater barrier system that was supposed to protect the city still is not operational after more than

Still the work goes on, and rarely smoothly. A test of the gates in early November caused such vibrations throughout the city that many people called emergency services to report what they thought was an earthquake. It was later reported that the gate testing hadn’t been authorized because the work isn’t close enough to completion and the rusty hinges could have caused a major maritime disaster had any snapped. No one has yet fully measured if those intense vibrations caused any structural damage to the buildings or in any way harmed the lagoon’s fragile ecosystem. 

Venice has long been a city of vast contradictions. The very sea that makes it famous threatens it almost daily. But so do people. Only about 50,000 people live in Venice full time, though the city gets more than 36 million tourists a year. Giant cruise ships bring in huge numbers of tourists, all while threatening the vulnerable canals with the massive vessels. Overcrowding has long been an issue, but the city’s economy is completely reliant on them to survive. So too, Venetians are understandably angry over the events of the last week. Not only are they aggravated by tourists who are taking smiley “acqua alta adventure selfies” in waist-deep waters while they bail water out of their shops and restaurants, they feel the whole country has failed them. Alessandro Morelli, the head of the Italian parliamentary committee on transportation, has dispatched a special team to study why Moses isn’t running yet. 

“These delays are an embarrassment for all of Italy and we urgently need a solution,” he said, stating what to Venetians has been obvious for nearly three decades.

Irish weather forecast: Status Yellow rain warning in place for five counties as south braces for deluge

  Irish weather forecast: Status Yellow rain warning in place for five counties as south braces for deluge There is a risk of spot flooding in partsMet Eireann put counties Tipperary, Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford and Cork under a Status Yellow alert until 12pm tomorrow.

Venice has shut the iconic meeting place after the city was further deluged by floodwaters from the latest sea surge. Venice floods — in pictures. Grand Canal bursts its banks. In a city of canals, high water levels cause chaos even Plagued with cost overruns and corruption scandals, there are also

ROME — The mayor of Venice , who said that the city “was on its knees,” has called for a state of emergency and the closing of all schools after the Italian city was submerged under “acqua alta,” an exceptionally high tide — the highest in 50 years.

The current mayor Luigi Brugnaro on Friday took the unprecedented step of closing St. Mark’s Square completely, essentially barricading the water in so it won’t seep into the city as rains and strong winds started pushing the tides higher once more. Brugnaro said that the high tide has caused “apocalyptic damage” to the city. “The future of Venice is at stake,” he said, adding that the damage will easily reach hundreds of millions of euro. That could be the understatement of the century. Tuesday night, just hours before the floods swept through the city, Venice’s regional council met in the historic city hall on the Grand Canal where years earlier the decision to build Moses was taken. This time, they voted down a budget measure that would have helped the city tackle climate change—in part because of how much Moses has cost them. A few minutes later, in what seemed like a not-so-subtle message from mother nature, the ancient chamber hall was inundated with water for the first time in the city’s history. 

Spot flooding expected as Status Orange warning issued for Tipperary and Waterford .
Spot flooding expected as Status Orange warning issued for Tipperary and Waterford with a possibility of spot flooding.Met Éireann issued the warning in addition to a Status Yellow rainfall warning for Cork, Kilkenny and Wexford. The Status Orange warning will be in place from 3pm today until 6pm tomorrow.  © Met a ireann Met Éireann said: “Heavy rain during the period will cause spot flooding. Accumulations in excess of 50mm possible in some parts.”The Status Yellow warning for Cork, Kilkenny and Wexford is also in place from 3pm today until 6pm tomorrow.

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