The historic city has been devastated by heavy rainfall which has caused the second highest tide ever recorded sweep across the region on Tuesday night. Following the widespread deluge, up to 80 percent of the famous city is now under water, with further downpours scheduled in the next 48 hours. The Italian Prime Minister will spend the night in Venice to see firsthand the destruction caused.

Mr Conte said: “I am traveling to Venice where there is a dramatic situation.

“Bad weather that worries us and makes communities suffer.”

Luigi Brugnaro, Mayor of Venice, declared a state of national emergency and added the damage caused is expected to cost “millions of euros”.

Mr Brugnaro said: “The estimates of the damages are very large.

“Let’s talk about hundreds of millions of euros.”

The 58-year-old also warned the flooding has put the future of the city at risk.

He added: “Here it is not a question of quantifying the damage only, but of the very future of the city.

“Because the depopulation of Venice also comes from this.”

Hundreds of historical sites can be seen submerged under water – some of which were first constructed in the 9th century.

St Mark’s square known as “la Piazza” has also been left swamped by more than one metre of water.

At around midnight on Tuesday evening, the lagoon tide peaked at 187 cm (6ft 2ins) – the highest level for over 50 years.

The devastating tide fell just seven centimetres short of the record of 194cm set in 1966.

Venice Archbishop Francesco Moraglia, warned ancient mosaics and tiling may have suffered “irreparable damage”.

Meanwhile forecasters has revealed more bad weather is on course to strike the region as a area of low-pressure moves across mainland Europe.

BBC weather forecaster Phil Avery said: “Look at this, things turning very unsettled, new area of low pressure dominating the scene across Italy.

READ MORE: UK snow alert: Heavy snowfall leaves Devon completely covered

It is estimated more than 20 million people visited Venice in 2018.

The popular tourist spot of St Mark’s Square is prone to flooding as it is located at the end of the Grand Canal which stretches a huge 2.4 miles.

A flood barrier was designed in 1984 to protect Venice from high tides, but the multi-billion euro project, known as Mose, has been plagued by infrastructure problems.

The new barrier had been expected to be in operation eight years ago and is now not expected to be ready until 2021.

(Additional reporting by Maria Ortega)



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here