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Saint Mark’s Square in the Ital­ian city of Venice is sub­merged by more than one me­tre of wa­ter, while the ad­ja­cent Saint Mark’s Basil­ica has been flooded for only the sixth time in 1,200 years

– but the fourth in the past 20. Venice’s mayor yes­ter­day called the city a dis­as­ter zone af­ter

the sec­ond-high­est tide recorded swept through it overnight, flood­ing his­toric build­ings and leav­ing many squares and al­ley­ways deep un­der wa­ter. City of­fi­cials said the tide peaked at 187cm at 10.50pm on Tues­day, just short of the record 194cm set in 1966.

Mayor Luigi Brug­naro said the sit­u­a­tion was dra­matic. ‘We ask the gov­ern­ment to help us. The cost will be high. This is the re­sult of cli­mate change,’ he wrote on Twit­ter. He said he would de­clare a dis­as­ter zone and ask the gov­ern­ment to call a state of emer­gency, which would al­low funds to be freed to ad­dress the dam­age. Mr Brug­naro said the basil­ica had suf­fered ‘grave dam­age’, but no de­tails were avail­able on the state of its mainly Byzan­tine in­te­rior, fa­mous for its rich mo­saics. Fur­ther bad weather is fore­cast for the com­ing days

Photo: AFP; Words: Reuters

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