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High tides, flooding worst in years

Wed., Dec. 3, 2008

Strong southern winds pushed the Adriatic Sea into Venice again Tuesday, submerging parts of the city a day after an unusually high tide caused the worst flooding in 20 years.

Tuesday’s tidal surge peaked at 3 feet, 4 inches, well below Monday’s 5 foot, 1 inch level, which marked the fourth highest tide in the city’s recorded history and the worst since 1986.

Still, the water Tuesday was high enough to flood the city’s landmark St. Mark’s Square and other low-lying areas.

Tourists and locals waded through the historic piazza with high boots as alarms warned of the latest bout of “acqua alta.” At least one person decided to enjoy the flooded square, zipping about with a wakeboard until police stepped in to end his fun.

Strong southern winds have been driving the sea into Venice’s lagoon, causing the unusually high tides. Forecasters said the tides are expected to subside in the next few days as the weather improves.

Bangkok, Thailand

Airport siege ends; leaders regroup

Victorious anti-government protesters lifted their siege of Bangkok’s two airports today while the ousted government’s leaders met to decide on a caretaker prime minister to lead the politically chaotic kingdom.

The country’s immediate crisis, which virtually severed Thailand’s air links to the outside world for a week, appeared to be over, and the People’s Alliance for Democracy said it was ending six months of daily anti-government protests. But the alliance warned it would be on the streets again if a new government tried to return to its past policies.

A court decision Tuesday forced the country’s prime minister from office and disbanded the three top ruling coalition parties. But they quickly were reconstituted under different guises, and leaders met today to choose a caretaker prime minister.

From wire reports


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