Venice is on its knees: that's what the mayor of the historical city Luigi Brugnano tweeted on Wednesday, leaving no room for misinterpretation.
In the past days the highest tide waters in more than 50 years had inundated Venice's picturesque narrow streets forcing residents to remain indoors and tourists to be transferred away from the city center.
The water level hit 1.87 mt on Tuesday evening with most shops severely affected by the flooding.
Two people were killed including a man who was electrocuted while performing repairs on his flooded home.
On Wednesday, the Italian government approved a decree declaring Venice in a state of emergency.
Venice mayor Luigi Brugnaro has blamed climate change for the disastrous floods. He said the damage his city has suffered is estimated at hundreds of millions of euros.
Venice flooding crisis has triggered controversy about the fact that the MOSE, a 5.5 billion euros sea barrier system that is to prevent high tides from reaching the lagoon city, is still not operative. The project, which has been hit by delays and a corruption scandal, consists of 78 mobile barriers across the three tidal inlets into the Venetian lagoon.
Consorzio Venezia Nuova, the consortium behind the construction of the project, is now predicting the sea barrier system will be operative at the end of 2021 at a cost of about 4 billion euros higher than the original estimate.
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