Venice Suffers Second Worst Flooding On Record
A state of emergency has been declared in Venice as the city experiences some of the worst flooding in decades.
The 187-centimetre flooding is the second highest on record, with 194cm recorded in 1966.
The tourist hotspot has been turned into a wetland where residents and visitors have to walk on elevated planks to avoid the water. Others simply brave the high seas and march through in boots.
The city's mayor is blaming climate change for turning Venice into a water world.
Luigi Brugnaro wrote on Twitter that this latest flooding would be a 'wound that will leave a permanent mark'.
"Venice is on its knees," Mr Brugnaro wrote.
"St Mark's Basilica has sustained serious damage like the entire city and its islands."
The Basilica was flooded last year and cost a whopping $3.5 million in damages.
Venice Archbishop Francesco Moraglia said this latest flooding event will also do 'irreparable' harm.
"The Basilica is suffering structural damage because the water has risen and so it's causing irreparable damage, especially when it dries out in the lower section of the mosaics and tiling," he said.
Dozens of boats have also been damaged as a result of the flooding and many shop owners around the affected areas have been lamenting over the issue.
Antonella Rossi, who owns a handmade jewellery shop, told the Guardian: "An apocalypse happened. We haven't seen anything like this in 55 years. The water has destroyed everything, and I will have to redo so much - work that took a lifetime was wrecked in seconds."
There are also concerns that the jewel in the crown that is Venice, St Mark's Square, has suffered some pretty serious damage as well.
"We feel helpless in the face of nature, but we are also disappointed that either politics or technology has failed," said Claudio Vernier, president of the St Mark's Square Traders' Association. "They've been talking about defending this city for decades but that's all they do - talk."
Attention is now being cast on the plans for the city's anti-flooding infrastructure, called Moses.
It's a labyrinth of moveable undersea barriers that are meant to reduce the effects of flooding when the tides rise. The project has been dogged by delays since being constructed in 2003.
Featured Image Credit: PA