Venice’s mayor has called on the Italian government for help and is set to declare a state of emergency after the city was struck by its highest tide in more than 50 years.
Another surge is expected to cause further damage today (13 November) as tourist sites across the destination lie flooded.
The lagoon city’s flood level reached its second-highest measurement of all time – 1.87 metres – last night amid heavy rainfall.
Two people have reportedly been killed as a result of the flooding with an elderly man electrocuted in his home on the island of Pellestrina, while the body of another man was also found in the area.
More than 85% of the city was flooded on Tuesday night. The highest level recorded was 1.98m in 1966. A further wave is expected to reach 1.60m today.
Mayor Luigi Brugnaro blamed climate change for the “dramatic situation” his city has found itself in, adding the extreme flooding was “a wound that will leave indelible signs”.
Brugnaro urged the Italian government to help the city immediately as the cost of the damage was expected to be “very high”.
In November 2018, high tides cost an estimated £1.9 million of damage to St Mark’s Basilica.
St Mark’s Square is particularly affected by the high tides, as it is located in one of the lowest parts of the city.
The local coastguard has laid on extra boats to serve as water ambulances, while water taxis attempting to drop people off at the historic hotels along the Grand Canal discovered the gangways had been washed away – with passengers having to clamber through windows.