‘APOCALYPTIC’ FLOODING IN ICONIC CITY TURNS DEADLY
VENICE has declared a state of emergency after a 1.8m flood devastated the tourist hotspot and killed at least two people.
Veneto regional governor Luca Zaia said: “There’s apocalyptic devastation.”
“Venice is on its knees … the art, the basilica, the shops and the homes, a disaster … The city is bracing itself for the next high tide,” he said.
St Mark’s Square was submerged by more than 1m of water, while the adjacent St Mark’s Basilica was flooded for only the sixth time in 1200 years – sparking fears for millions of dollars worth of priceless art.
Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro blamed climate change for the “dramatic situation” after one man died as a direct result of the flooding. The victim, a local man from Pellestrina, was killed after being struck by lightning while using an electric water pump.
The body of another man was reportedly found when relatives entered his home.
Mr Brugnaro said the basilica had suffered “grave damage”, but no details were given on the state of its world-famous Byzantine interior.
Only once since records began in 1923 has the tide been higher, reaching 1.94m in 1966.