Satellite imagery shows the once-bustling waterways of Venice are now empty post COVID-19 lockdown

The images show a huge drop in visitors around the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Channel. The crowd this year is so less that it appears to be almost empty as compared to last year.

Satellite imagery shows the once-bustling waterways of Venice are now empty post COVID-19 lockdown
Satellite imagery shows the once-bustling waterways of Venice are now empty post COVID-19 lockdown

Satellite imagery shows the once-bustling waterways of Venice are now empty post COVID-19 lockdown

From forever visiting tourists, and everlasting activity in the waterways, Venice -- the city of water -- has gone completely empty because of the pandemic COVID-19. In a new set of imagery released by ESA's Sentinel-2 shows a distinct lack of boat traffic following the March lockdown from the last year.

The images show a huge drop in visitors around the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Channel. The crowd this year is so less that it appears to be almost empty as compared to last year. Also, the traffic from Venice to the island of Murano seems to be non-existent.

 

The Grand Canal and the Giudecca Channel appear almost empty compared to last year, and traffic from Venice to the island of Murano seems to be non-existent. There were also two massive cruise ships docked at a port, but the area is also vacant.

Italy was deemed the first hotspot of the coronavirus, which has now more than 165,000 cases and 21,645 deaths reported in the country. After witnessing a huge number of deaths reported by the end of February, the government officials quickly implanted a lockdown from March 9 with the hopes of taming the infection.

The country that was once the epicenter of European infections is now seeing the rate of infections and deaths stabilize, sparking authorities to reopen parts of the economy. But just like many government officials are saying around the world, normalcy may still be far down the road.

Since the lockdown, the lively waterways of Venice have become nothing but empty canals. The ESA shared images of the city captured by its Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission satellite on April 13, 2020, and compared it with another snapped April 19, 2019.

The blue water that flows through the town is nearly empty, with some parts completely free of boats. Usually, there are multiple cruise ships that pull into the port, two can be seen in the 2019 image, but area is now empty.

According to the Italian news agency, ANSA, the streets and canals of Venice remained almost empty over Easter – with only police officers patrolling the streets and waterways. Along with a drop in human activity following the lockdown, both Rome and Milan saw a decrease in nitrogen dioxide last month.

The average concentrations of NO2 for the past four weeks have been at least 24 percent lower than four weeks earlier this year. The average concentration from March 16 through 22 was 21 percent lower than for the same week in 2019. In Rome, there has been a constant decline in NO2 pollution over the past four weeks -- a 47 percent decrease that the same time last year.