Highest tide in 50-years submerges Venice

Two people died in the worst floods to hit Venice in more than 50 years as the Italian lagoon city called for a state of emergency to be imposed.

One of the victims was an elderly man, he died on Tuesday night while trying to run electric pumps at his home on the island of Pellestrina.

Venice which is popular among tourists was left submerged under water after the highest tide in more than 50 years. The waters peaked 1.87 meters as per the tide monitoring centre.

Only once since records began in 1923 has the tide been higher, reaching 1.94m in 1966.

Popular tourist sites in the Italian city were left completely flooded and people were wading through the streets as Venice was hit by a storm.

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.

Most of the businesses were affected. Chairs and tables were seen floating outside cafes and restaurants. In shops, workers tried to move their stock away from the water to prevent any further dama.

Three water buses sank in Venice.

The historic crypt of St. Mark’s Basilica was inundated for just the sixth time in 1,200 years.

A project to protect the city from flooding has been underway 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.

Only around 53,000 residents live in Venice, which has seen its population dwindle over the past 50 years as it tries to curb overtourism.

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