Nov 16, 2019

Venice floods threaten the city's historical sites

Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP via Getty Images

Historical sites, valuable art and architectural treasures found in Venice are at risk of structural damage from the sea salt in the waters that submerged the city, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The flooding will leave behind salt crystals that corrode the brickwork of centuries-old churches and palaces, per Reuters. City leaders told Reuters, global warming has directly contributed to increasing sea levels that pushed massive amounts of water toward and into the city.

  • Residents with damaged homes will receive $5,500 in compensation from the government, BBC reports.

Sites impacted by the flooding:

  • The famed St. Mark’s Basilica is particularly in danger as it flooded for the second time in just over a year. Saltwater has almost reached capacity in the church's crypt, where marble columns support the structure, per Reuters.
  • St. Mark's Square has become a "glorified" swimming pool, the Washington Post writes.
  • The Gritti Palace, which hosts famous celebrities and diplomats, is currently flooded. It underwent a $60 million restoration in 2013, and was supposed to be prepared for flooding, according to Architectural Digest. However, it couldn't handle the most recent flooding that overwhelmed more than 80% of the city.

The latest: Venice is anticipated to experience another high tide this Sunday, according to Reuters. Tuesday's flooding was the city's worst in 50 years, and is estimated to have resulted in more than $1 billion in damage.

Go deeper: Highest tide in 50 years floods Venice

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Landslides, flooding in Kenya kill at least 56

A Turkana woman stops at a gate of her house that is submerged by flooded water after heavy rain in Lodwar, northwestern Kenya, Oct. 18. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Landslides and flooding triggered by unusually heavy rain in northwestern Kenya have killed at least 56 people, Reuters reports. Flooding and mudslides have destroyed bridges and wiped out roads, stranding multiple villages.

The big picture: The fatalities bring the total to 94 dead from floods in Kenya over the past month and a half, according to AP and Reuters. Overall, Kenya is experiencing an unusually heavy rainy season. More than 1 million people in East Africa have experienced above-average rainfall.

Go deeper: Venice floods threaten the city's historical sites

Keep ReadingArrowUpdated Nov 24, 2019

Kansas City votes to make its bus system free

Reproduced from ValuePenguin; Chart: Axios Visuals

Kansas City, Missouri, is set to be the largest city in the country to offer free bus rides to all of its citizens.

The big picture: Kansas City is effectively a guinea pig, as other cities wait to see how the free bus ride system will play out.

Go deeperArrowDec 11, 2019

How climate change threatens Superfund sites

Reproduced from a U.S. Government Accountability Office map; Map: Axios Visuals

A newly public federal report finds that 945 Superfund sites — around 60% of the nation's total — could be affected by sea-level rise, wildfires and other climate change-related harms.

Why it matters: The Government Accountability Office report warns of more frequent or intense events that damage the waste sites and "lead to releases of contaminants that could pose risks to human health and the environment."

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019