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Venice Underwater After Historic Flood: Mayor blames climate change

Venice (Italy), Nov 13: A state of emergency has been declared in Venice after the Italian lagoon city witnessed the worst floods in more than 50 years.

Venice Mayor has called for the city to be declared a disaster zone after the second highest tide ever recorded left 85 per cent of the city underwater.

The highest water levels in the region in more than 50 years will leave “a permanent mark”, Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro tweeted.

“Now the government must listen,” he added. “These are the effects of climate change… the costs will be high.”

The unnamed man was killed on Tuesday night while he was trying to run electric pumps at his home on the island of Pellestrina, Alessandro Bertasi, spokesman for Venice’s mayor said.

The popular tourist destination was struck by an exceptionally high tide on Tuesday night, which peaked at 187 centimeters (73.6 inches), according to a statement by Venice’s government Wednesday morning.

Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years, with another surge expected to cause further widespread flooding and destruction on Wednesday.

Venice is on its knees,” Mayor Luigi Brugnaro says, as the lagoon city is suffering some of the worst floods in its history. The highest tide in 50 years brought seawater that is threatening monuments, Renaissance buildings, and works of art in the historic maritime city.

With more than 85 percent of the city flooded, Brugnaro says the Italian city is in a state of emergency. He’s now asking Italy’s central government for help, saying the damage to Venice is huge.

The water overwhelmed seawalls and smashed brick docks, shoving boats into streets and putting portions of landmarks such as St. Mark’s Basilica and La Fenice Opera House underwater. While the crypt at St. Mark’s was flooded, a member of its management board tells Italian news agency ANSA that the main concern is that water may have damaged the basilica’s support columns.

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