At least 11 dead as violent storms buffet Italy

Flooding at high tide has become much more common in Venice because of climate change - a problem that will continue to worsen as seas rise thanks to increasing temperatures and melting ice sheets.

Tourists were forced to wade through the streets after the water rose by more than 156cm to the highest level since December 2008.

Governor Giovanni Toti of Liguaria said."It is now not possible to calculate the damage, which could be hundreds of millions".

As a precaution, schools were closed in several areas, including in the northern Veneto and Liguria regions, in parts of Abruzzo and in Rome.

The national fire brigade said it had intervened in 7,000 cases across the country and that one of its staff had died, crushed by a tree during a rescue operation in a small town in South Tyrol.

"As a precaution we opted to clear tourists from [St Mark's] Square", Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said in a video from the flooded scene that was posted on his Twitter account.

And a fisherman's body has reportedly been recovered from Lake Levico in Trentino after he went to check on his boat.


The Italian department which deals with the prediction, prevention and management of exceptional events, the Civil Protection Agency, are managing the situation.

The fatalities also included a woman who was buried by mud when a landslide invaded her home near Trento in northern Italy, and a man who was windsurfing in Emilia-Romagna.

The wooden floors in the almost 300-year-old Florian cafe nearby were also seriously damaged.

The usual trend of the flood waters is to flow right into Venice's Grand Canal.

"It is becoming ever more hard for us and indeed could become impossible for us to fix the damage, especially in an age of climate change", Tesserin said.

Elsewhere, firefighters were called out to the rescue of 19 people trapped in the seaside city.

Dozens of luxury yachts were destroyed after 10 metre waves pounded the coast for hours, breaking the 6.5 mere high dam.


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