Italy to declare state of emergency over Venice flooding
Italy is set to declare a state of emergency in Venice after the Italian city was engulfed by 1.87m (6ft) high water levels, flooding its historic basilica and cutting power to homes.
More than 80% of the city, a Unesco world heritage site, was underwater when tides were at their highest.
Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte described the flooding as “a blow to the heart of our country”.
He said the government would now act quickly to provide funds and resources.
“It hurts to see the city so damaged, its artistic heritage compromised, its commercial activities on its knees,” Mr Conte, who visited the region late on Wednesday, wrote in a Facebook post (in Italian).
He said the government would “accelerate” the building of structural defences for the lagoon city, referring specifically to the so-called Mose project – a hydraulic barrier system to shut off the lagoon in the event of rising sea levels and winter storms.