State of emergency declared in Venice

epaselect epa07992230 A view of a ferry stranded on the docks following bad weather in Venice, northern Italy, 13 November 2019. A wave of bad weather has hit much of Italy on 12 November. Levels of 100-120cm above sea level are fairly common in the lagoon city and Venice is well-equipped to cope with its rafts of pontoon walkways. EPA-EFE/ANDREA MEROLA

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The cabinet on Thursday approved the declaration of a state of emergency for flood-devastated Venice and other parts of Veneto, earmarking 20 million euros for the first intervention in the weather-torn north-eastern Italian region.

A cabinet meeting approved a special decree that included 20 million euros in immediate financial aid aimed at helping the city recover.

Flooding in Venice
 A clean up efforts in the historical Florian cafe in San Marco square, damaged by bad weather in Venice, northern Italy, 13 November 2019. . EPA-EFE/ANDREA MEROLA

“This will make it possible to assign the first financial aid to pay for the emergency spending and restore services,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said earlier in the day after a meeting in the city with Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, Veneto Governor Luca Zaia and Infrastructure Minister Paola De Micheli.

Italian PM Conte in Venice after flooding
A handout photo made available by the Chigi Palace shows Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (L) and firefighters observing flood relief measures in Venice, Italy, 14 November 2019. Severe flooding affected much of the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region. EPA-EFE/FILIPPO ATTILI / CHIGI PALACE HANDOUT 

The water levels reached 1.87 meters (over 6 feet, 1 inch) above sea level Tuesday, the second-highest level ever recorded in the city and just 7 centimeters (2½ inches) lower than the historic 1966 flood. Another wave of exceptionally high water followed Wednesday.

The exceptional flooding was caused by southerly winds that pushed a high tide, exacerbated by a full moon, into the city.

Although the waters have fallen from the peak reached late Tuesday, St Mark’s Square remained partially flooded on Thursday and a new peak water level is expected for Friday morning.


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