The European Space Agency has released two images of Venice, taken one year apart, which highlight the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on its famous waterways.
The images, one taken on April 13 and the other on April 19, 2019, show how dramatically the number of boats within the Italian city’s main thoroughfare has reduced since the Covid-19 crisis began.
Venice, situated in northeastern Italy in an enclosed bay in the Adriatic Sea, is famed for its network of waterways. But since Italy announced a lockdown on March 8, the city — usually packed with tourists — has been almost empty.
In April last year, there appears to be dozens of boats in Venice’s Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal, but there were visibly far fewer this week.
The images were taken by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2 satellite, which is part of the European Commission’s Copernicus program to observe earth and any changes to the environment.
Various lockdown measures implemented globally have had a number of effects on the environment. Within days of the lockdown, Venetians began sharing photos that showed fish visible in the lagoon, which usually has boats churning up sediment from the water bed.
Meanwhile, thousands of miles away in India, residents have been able to see the Himalayas for the first time in decades due to the reduction in air pollution.
Similarly, satellite images taken over the US have also shown pollution is on the decline as millions of people stay at home. Italy is among the countries worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The number of people in the country who had died with Covid-19 was 21,645 as of Thursday, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University, with 165,155 having tested positive for the virus.
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