10:54 GMT25 January 2021
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    • A view shows a model holding her dress on flooded St. Mark's Square on 8 December 2020 following a high tide Alta Acqua event after heavy rains and strong winds, and the mobile gates of the MOSE Experimental Electromechanical Module that protects the city of Venice from floods, were not lifted.
    • A view shows a flooded St. Mark's Square on 8 December 2020 following a high tide Alta Acqua event after heavy rains and strong winds, and the mobile gates of the MOSE Experimental Electromechanical Module that protects the city of Venice from floods, were not lifted.
    • People walk in a flooded St. Mark's Square during high tide as the flood barriers known as the MOSE were not raised, in Venice, Italy, 8 December 2020.
    • A person poses for a photo in a flooded St. Mark's Square during high tide as the flood barriers known as the MOSE were not raised, in Venice, Italy, 8 December 2020.
    • A shopkeeper prevents water from getting into his shop, in a flooded arcade by St. Mark's Square on 8 December 2020 in Venice following a high tide Alta Acqua event after heavy rains and strong winds, and the mobile gates of the MOSE Experimental Electromechanical Module that protects the city of Venice from floods, were not lifted.
    • People walk in a flooded St. Mark's Square during high tide as the flood barriers known as the MOSE were not raised, in Venice, Italy, 8 December2020.
    • A couple walks in a flooded St. Mark's Square during high tide as the flood barriers known as the MOSE were not raised, in Venice, Italy, 8 December 2020.
    • A shop owner prevents water from getting in on 8 December 2020 in Venice following a high tide Alta Acqua event after heavy rains and strong winds, and the mobile gates of the MOSE Experimental Electromechanical Module that protects the city of Venice from floods, were not lifted.
    • People walk past the Rialto Bridge during high tide as the flood barriers known as the MOSE were not raised, in Venice, Italy, 8 December 2020.
    • A person walks in a flooded St. Mark's Square during high tide as the flood barriers known as the MOSE were not raised, in Venice, Italy, 8 December 2020.
    © AFP 2020 / Andrea Pattaro
    A view shows a model holding her dress on flooded St. Mark's Square on 8 December 2020 following a high tide "Alta Acqua" event after heavy rains and strong winds, and the mobile gates of the MOSE Experimental Electromechanical Module that protects the city of Venice from floods, were not lifted.

    The city suffered a billion euros in damages during high tides last year, with floods rocking the landmark Italian city at least three times in November and December 2019.

    Venice has been flooded with water, with extremely heavy rain and strong winds causing the tide to surge. The flood waters reached as high as 122 cm on Wednesday morning, before further climbing to a 145 cm peak. The Venetian authorities were caught off-guard as they failed to activate the city's massive flood barriers - 78 flood gates known as the MOSE - at a notice of less than 48 hours.

    "The situation is terrible, we are under water", shared Carlo Alberto Tesserin, responsible for managing Saint Mark's Basilica, adding that if the water continued to rise, all the internal chapels would be submerged.

    This comes after Venice was hit by flooding three times last year - twice in November and once in December - causing damages worth a billion euros in total. In November 2019, Italy declared a state of emergency after floods brought widespread devastation to the city, flooding its historic landmarks.

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    weather, floods, Venice, Italy
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