Venice submerged in record-setting flood water

Venice braced for another devastating high tide as city remains on emergency alert

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Waters have been rising again in Venice, where 70-percent of the city lies submerged, just three days after the government declared a state of emergency.

Late Tuesday, Venice water levels reached 1.87 meters (6 feet, 1 inch) above sea level, the highest flooding since 1966.

Forecasters warned that the danger for more wind-propelled high tides remained through the weekend.

Brugnaro blamed climate change when flood waters swept through the city on Wednesday, swamping its historic basilica and inundating squares and centuries-old buildings. He also called for the speedy completion of the city's long-delayed Moses flood defense project.

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Shopkeepers tried to shore up their businesses on Saint Mark's Square on Friday morning - many said they had closed to customers 10 days ago when levels broke through the 110 cm threshold. Water levels reached almost 1.9 meters (6 feet, 1 inch) above sea level.

"While the water is still there, it's hard to know what the (full) damage is", Franceschini said.

Among the measures the Veneto regional council rejected, according to Andrea Zanoni, a councilor from the Democratic Party, were replacing diesel buses with more eco-friendly ones, financing renewable energy projects, and reducing the use of plastics in Venice and the region.

Bar owner Begnamino Dal Mas said living with the threat of floods, or "high water" as the Italians call it, is a part of Venetian life.

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"Venice was destroyed the other day".

The Italian Society of Authors and Editors, which said Venice's book stores and libraries were "gravely damaged" by the high water, launched a fundraising campaign.

At the city's internationally renowned bookshop Acqua Alta - the Italian for high water - staff were trying to dry out thousands of water-damaged books and prints, usually kept in boats, bath tubs and plastic bins.

"We can't waste time, this city is crying for help", Salvini said, adding that similar incidents must be avoided.

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Completion of the multibillion-euro project, under construction since 2003, has been delayed by corruption scandals, cost overruns and opposition from environmentalists who were anxious about its effects on Venice's delicate lagoon ecosystem. The project has not yet been activated, after being delayed a number of times due to corruption scandals, costs overruns and environmentalist opposition over its effects on Venice's lagoon ecosystem.

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