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Floods and storms bring chaos to Italian city of Venice


A couple walk in the flooded Saint Mark Square during a period of seasonal high water in Venice, Italy on Monday. Manuel Silvestri / REUTERS

Large sections of the Italian city of Venice have suffered their worst flooding in more than 10 years after a combination of high tides and strong winds brought havoc to the lagoon city.

The hugely popular tourist destination is famed for its network of canals and gondolas, and because of this is already susceptible to flooding in the period from October to December, but the inundation of recent days has been particularly bad, with up to 70 percent of the city affected.

At one point on Monday, the high tide water level was 160 cm above sea level. If confirmed, this will be the highest recorded watermark since December 1979. The highest ever recorded in the city was in November 1966, when the water level reached 194 cm, causing devastating damage.

The city has been waiting for a long-planned system of underwater protective barriers, known as Moses, but its installation has been held up by escalating costs and corruption scandals.

Venice's mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, said he had asked to talk to the country's prime minster, Giuseppe Conte, about the urgency of the project.

Even water taxi services in the city had to be cancelled because of the water levels. Tourists had to use raised walkways to cross such popular destinations as St Mark's Square, and runners in the Venice Marathon on Sunday found themselves ankle-deep in water.  Editor:Lucky

(Source_title:Floods and storms bring chaos to Italian city of Venice)