The historic lagoon city is in a state of emergency
The Italian city of Venice has been underwater for much of this week – and with more flooding expected over the weekend, the prime minister has declared emergency measures.
Earlier this week Venetians woke to sirens as Venice was engulfed by 6ft high water levels, flooding its historic basilica and cutting power to homes. Incredibly, more than 80 per cent of the city was underwater when tides were at their highest.
Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the government would now act quickly to provide funds and resources, and added that individuals could claim up to €5,000 (£4,300; $5,500), and businesses up to €20,000, in compensation.
Despite many shops, museums and restaurants shutting tourists were still attempting to enjoy the city – a Unesco world heritage site.
St Mark’s Square (one of the lowest parts of the city ) was one of the worst hit areas. The mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, said the famous St Mark’s Basilica had suffered ‘grave damage’ and there are fears that the basilica’s columns may have been structurally damaged.
On Wednesday, pumps were deployed to drain water from the church and its 12th Century crypt.
The city of Venice is made up of more than 100 islands inside a lagoon off the north-east coast of Italy. So, is climate change behind the flooding? We can’t be certain, as Venice suffers from flooding on a yearly basis. However, sea levels are rising and as Venice is also sinking, it certainly seems likely the city will be affected in the near future.