Moses “saves” Venice – Forecasts for November 22 gave a peak of 170 centimeters, the third in history after the ‘big waters’ of November 4, 1966 (194) and November 12, 2019 (187). The wave height in the sea was calculated at around 3 metres, while the bora wind in the lagoon reached almost 53 kilometers per hour. In the late morning the dams at the Chioggia port mouth were lowered for about two hours, to let some water that had ‘accumulated’ in the lagoon flow towards the sea. The system then remained up until one o’clock in the morning, to be raised again around six on November 23rd for the new waves.
After today’s record peak, the weather and sea conditions remain for other very strong high waters, and for this reason the dams will remain activated for at least another two days: on 23 November the tide office of the Municipality forecasts 145 centimeters at 10:30 ; same level for 10:10 the day after tomorrow.
“Everything went according to the procedures – commented the Extraordinary Commissioner at MOSE, Elisabetta Spitz -, it was a very important test. The work done in recent years has contributed significantly to making lifting operations ever more efficient”. A probative test, therefore, on an exceptional level of tide that only three years ago had hit the Serenissima hard, and which has rekindled the ancient controversies between supporters and opponents of the work.
The political acclaim – “Mose is facing the highest tide for 50 years (over two meters at the mouth of the port of Malamocco, ed) – commented the Minister of Infrastructure Matthew Salvini. – Without those barriers, Venice would be catastrophically submerged. Despite the ‘mister no’ those barriers are saving a heritage of humanity”.
Mayor Luigi Brugnaro he recalled the display of a banner in front of the Basilica of San Marco during a protest by “No Mose”: “It’s very easy to denigrate – he said – we use the city of Venice and these fantastic scenography to destroy work and science”. Even the president of the Veneto Luca Zaia he recalled that “if there were no Mose, we would already have a disaster over Venice”.
And the leader of Action Carlo Calenda wonders: “How many Moses and Taps before abandoning the culture of No?”. The leader of the Alleanza Verdi Sinistra in the Chamber, Luana Zanella, for her part, contested Salvini because “she does not say how much and how long the Mose will hold, given the forecasts of an increase in the level of the Upper Adriatic from 41 to over 80 cm by the end of the century, and how it intends to address the overall safeguarding of the city and the lagoon”.