Venice has suffered the worst flooding to hit the lagoon city in more than 50 years.
The ancient city has been devastated and its historic monuments and museums have been flooded.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte declared earlier today a state of emergency, stating that the decision would be approved at a cabinet meeting later today.
The PM, who paid a visit to Venice today, has stated that “the commitment to Venice is total”, also adding that the situation in the city is “dramatic.”
Damage from this week’s flooding is estimated to have caused hundreds of millions of euros worth of damage so far, with water levels surging 1.87m above normal.
Two people have died as a result of the flooding.
— Emily Pothast (@emilypothast) November 13, 2019
The past few days’ flooding is exceeded (only slightly) by the “Acqua Grande” of 1966, with peaks of 192 centimetres; a tragedy “impossible to predict,” according to the latest updates of the CNR.
Mr Conte focused Italian Government attention on the construction of Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico (MOSE), the flood barrier system that is still not up despite millions invested since 1984.
He said: “Lots of money has been spent. It’s on the final straight and now it must be completed and maintained.”
Venice residents and tourists waded through the floodwaters that have taken over much of the lagoon city. People were warned of the rising water with sirens and nursery schools were closed as a precaution. https://t.co/9Cg6PPseIa pic.twitter.com/Ndp4KcNCvJ
— ABC News (@ABC) November 13, 2019
On Tuesday, city mayor Luigi Brugnaro blamed climate change for the current crisis.
“Venice is on its knees,” he said on Twitter.
“The damage will run into hundreds of millions of euros.”
He added: “This is the result of climate change.”