Venice canals dry up leaving gondolas and water ambulances stranded

Low tides and a high-pressure system have reduced the famous waterways to muddy ditches. Credit: Getty

Weeks of no rain and low tides in Italy have left the famous canals of Venice so low that gondolas and water taxis are unable to navigate some of the waterways.

A lack of rain, a high-pressure system, a full moon and sea currents are being blamed for the low tides that have left the "floating city" marooned.

Ambulances reliant on the canals in this road-less city are being forced to proceed on foot to incidents, Paolo Rossi, the head of emergency health services said.

Venice officials blamed the low tides for the dry canals but weeks of dry winter weather have raised concerns Italy is facing another drought after last summer’s emergency.

The famous canals are drying up due to a low tide, officials says. Credit: Getty

The Alps have received less than half of their usual snowfall, according to scientists and environmental groups.

Italy’s longest river, the Po, has 61% less water than normal at this time of year, the Legambiente environmental group said.

The Po, which runs from the Alps, suffered its worst drought for 70 years last summer leading authorities to declare a state of emergency.

Water levels on Lake Garda in northern Italy have fallen to record lows. It is possible to reach the small island of San Biagio on the lake on a causeway that was revealed by the low water levels.

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