Two dead as Venice acqua alta comes close to record

St Mark's Basilica damaged by flood waters

13 November, 17:41

    VENICE - Venice was on its knees on Wednesday due to flooding in much of the city after the high-water mark reached 187cm late on Tuesday, close to the level of the famous 1966 flood.

    A 78-year-old man was electrocuted due a flood-caused short circuit at his home on the island of Pellestrina.

    Another person also died during the flooding on the lagoon island, although in his case it may have been natural causes.

    There is massive damage.

    Three barges sank, while gondolas and other boats were stripped from their moorings.

    St Mark's Basilica damaged by flood waters too, with the crypt totally submerged. A fire broke out at the Ca' Pesaro museum because of an electrical malfunction.

    Almost all the city is flooded, even though the acqua alta came down to around 150cm on Wednesday.

    Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said the council was asking central government to declare the city to be in a state of emergency and told local people and businesses to collect photographic and video evidence of the damage suffered for compensation claims. "We are faced with total, apocalyptic devastation," Veneto Governor Luca Zaia told Mediaset television.

    "I'm not exaggerating; 80% of the city is under water, the damage is unimaginable". Venice's La Fenice has been temporarily put out of action too.

    Although the theatre itself is not flooded, water has entered an auxiliary area affecting the electrical and fire-prevention systems.(ANSAmed).

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