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Venice flooding has city on its knees, Italy to declare a state of emergency



The worst flooding to strike in the city.

Water levels reached 6.14 feet late Tuesday, the second -highest level ever recorded in the city and just 2 1/2 inches lower than the historic 1966 flood.

"The disaster that hit Venice is a blow to the heart of our country," Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a Facebook post. "It

VENICE FLOODING SHOCKS COUPLE HOPING FOR ROMANTIC GETAWAY

Conte said Thursday that his cabinet will approve a

 A beached ferry boat reads on its side, in Venice, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019.

A beached ferry boat reads on its side, in Venice, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019.
       (AP Photo / Luigi Costantini)

In Venice, the crypt below St Mark's Basilica was inundated for only the second time in its history. Damage was reported at the Ca 'Pesaro modern art gallery, where a short circuit set fire and at La Fenice theater, where authorities turned off electricity as a precaution after being flooded.

 Workers clean up after High Waters Flooded the Interior of St. Mark's Basilica, in Venice, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019.

Workers clean up after high water flooded the interior of St Mark's Basilica, in Venice, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 ,
       (AP Photo / Luca Bruno)

Italy's culture minister, Dario Franceschini, said there was no damage to the museums in the city but still remained closed to tourists, and La Fenice canceled concerts Wednesday and Thursday evening.

Tourists were forced to drag their suitcases through flooded areas to St. Mark's Square after officials removed the walkways to prevent them from drifting away. Beached gondolas float on the flooded banks, in Venice, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. “/>

Stranded gondolas float adrift over the flooded banks, in Venice, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019.
       (AP Photo / Luigi Costantini)

Two deaths have been blamed on the barrier island of Pellestrina. A man in his 70s was apparently electrocuted when he tried to start a pump in his dwelling, according to Danny Carrella, an official on the island of 3,500 inhabitants. A second person was found dead, the BBC reported.

 Parts of a dock was damaged, in Venice, Italy, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019.

Parts of a dock were damaged, in Venice, Italy, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019.
       (AP Photo / Luigi Costantini)

This is a very dangerous day, but it is very vulnerable to any kind of damage level rise.

VENICE FLOODING BECOMES SECOND-HIGHEST IN HISTORY, AS TOURIST HOT SPOT HIT WITH 'APOCALYPTIC DEVASTATION' The sea level in Venice is 4 inches higher than it was 50 years ago, according to the city's tide office ]

"Venice is on its knees," Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said on Twitter. "St. Mark's Basilica has sustained serious damage, like the entire city and its islands."

Brugnaro, who blamed climate change for the "dramatic situation," called for speedy completion of a long-delayed project to construct offshore barriers.

The project, which has been closed by environmentalists concerned about damaging the delicate lagoon ecosystem, has been delayed by cost overruns and corruption scandals, with no launch date in sight

 A man looks at a beached ferry boat, in Venice, Italy, early Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019.

A man looks at a beached ferry boat, in Venice, Italy, early Wednesday, Nov. 13 , 2019.
       (AP Photo / Luigi Costantini)

Luca Zaia, governor of the Veneto region, told SkyTG24 that they were almost complete, but they were not clear.

"Despite 5 billion euros underwater, St Mark's Square would not be secure, '' Zaia said, referring to one of Venice's lowest points, which is where it is at an inundation of 80 centimeters (2.6 feet).

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Italy's prime minister on Thursday said that the "commitment to Venice is total" regarding the flood barrier system.

"The situation in this unique city is dramatic," he told Italian news agency ANSA. Venice, Italy, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. “/>

Sketches and drawings are lined up following a flooding in Venice, Italy, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019.
       (Andrea Merola / ANSA via AP)

Italian Infrastructure Minister Paola De Micheli told Radio Capital that he was aiming to complete the project by the end of 2012.

"I hope that it is partially in use before then, "he said Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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