Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018

Venice anti-flood system to lower gates in first test


Venice, April 23 - The controversial barrier built
around Venice to protect it from flooding will be used for the
first time in a test next month, authorities said Tuesday.
"At the start of May the first gates will be lowered near
Treporti," said Ciriaco D'Alessio, head of the Venice water
Conceived in 1984, the 5.7-billion-euro MOSE project is a
series of retractable dykes around the straits connecting the
Venetian lagoon to the Adriatic Sea, which during high tide is
prone to flooding the city.
"The deadline for implementing the gates is 2016, but the
work is already reaching its endpoint," said D'Alessio.
The MOSE project, which in Italian is a play on the name
for Moses, has been contested since its inception, both because
environmentalists say it will interrupt the natural ecosystem
and because experts believe it will fall short of protecting the
Italian heritage and conservation body Italia Nostra says
MOSE will ultimately be "incapable" of halting dangerously high
water and will have to be demolished soon after it is complete.
Floods reached chest-high levels several times this fall
and winter, 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
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.

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