Venice floods: Italian city hit by highest tide in 50 years

Parts of the Italian city of Venice have been left under water

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Flooding in Venice
Flooding in Venice
REUTERS

Parts of the Italian city of Venice have been left under water after the highest tide in more than 50 years. The waters peaked at 1.87m (6ft), according to the tide monitoring centre. Only once since records began in 1923 has the tide been higher, reaching 1.94m in 1966.

St Mark's Square - one of the lowest parts of the city - was one of the worst hit areas. St Mark's Basilica was flooded for the sixth time in 1,200 years, according to church records.

Pierpaolo Campostrini, a member of St Mark's council, said four of those floods had now occurred within the past 20 years. The city of Venice is made up of more than 100 islands inside a lagoon off the north-east coast of Italy.

Two people died on the island of Pellestrina, a thin strip of land that separates the lagoon from the Adriatic Sea. A man was electrocuted as he tried to start a pump in his home and a second person was found dead elsewhere.

Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said he would declare a state of disaster and warned that the flood would "leave a permanent mark. The situation is dramatic. We ask the government to help us. The cost will be high. This is the result of climate change," he said on Twitter.

A project to protect the city from flooding has been under way since 2003 but has been hit by soaring costs, scandals and delays. The plan aims to build a number of floating gates to protect the city during high tide.

Italy was hit by heavy rainfall on Tuesday with further bad weather expected in the coming days.




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