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.