Venice’s St Mark’s Square has been flooded after a system of mobile artificial dams failed to activate.
The system, which was installed in October, was a large flood defence system called MOSE which was designed to protect Venice’s lagoon during high tides.
Water levels reached 1.37 metres above sea level by the afternoon submerging St Mark’s Square which caused shopkeepers to block their entrances with wooden panels to keep the water out.
The €7 billion system was designed to resist water that was three metres above normal but failed to activate due to the forecast only predicting a 1.2-metre rise.
In response to the flooding, Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro stated, “To activate MOSE a bigger forecast is necessary,”.