An Italian regional council based on Venice’s Grand Canal was flooded for the first time in history this week – just moments after it rejected measures to combat climate change.
The council chamber in Ferro Fini Palace started to take in water late on Tuesday night as councillors were debating the 2020 regional budget.
Democratic Party councilor Andrea Zanoni said: “Ironically, the chamber was flooded two minutes after the majority League, Brothers of Italy, and Forza Italia parties rejected our amendments to tackle climate change.”
Among the rejected amendments were measures to fund renewable sources, to replace diesel buses with “more efficient and less polluting ones,” to scrap polluting stoves and reduce the impact of plastics, he said.
Worst flooding in more than 50 years
Venice was hit with the worst flooding in more than 50 years this week.
The high-water mark hit 74in late on Tuesday, meaning more than 85 per cent of the city was flooded.
The highest level recorded was 76in during infamous flooding in 1966.
The governor of the Veneto region, Luca Zaia, said one person died, although the cause was not immediately clear.
Damage to mosaics and artworks
A man in his 70s died on the barrier island of Pellestrina, apparently of electrocution, said Danny Carrella, an official on the island of 3,500 inhabitants.
Photos on social media showed a city ferry and taxi boats grounded on walkways flanking canals.
Already on Tuesday, much of the city was under water, inundating the famed St Mark’s Basilica and raising new concerns over damage to mosaics and other artworks.
Officials projected a second wave as high as 63in at mid-morning Wednesday.