Venice hit by worst floods in ten years

Heavy winds raised the water levels by more than five feet, causing the worst flooding in a decade.

Two people were killed in Terracina 100 kilometers (62 miles) southeast of Rome after a tornado swept through the town and caused a tree to fall on their auto, according to state broadcaster RAI. Reuters reported that two people died when a tree hit their vehicle outside of Rome.

Venice has been inundated by an exceptionally high tide, putting three-quarters of Venice under water as large swathes of Italy experienced flooding and heavy winds that killed six people.

The extreme weather, which began on Sunday, has caused widespread disruption throughout the country.

The victims also included a woman who was buried by mud when a landslide invaded her home near Trento in northern Italy and a man who was slammed against rocks while wind surfing in Emilia-Romagna.

The waters have only topped 150 centimeters five times before in recorded history. And along with streets and local businesses, noteworthy areas and historical landmarks like St. Mark's Square, the Rialto bridge, the Piazza San Marco, and more, have been impacted by the floods.

Strong winds and heavy rains have battered the country over the last two days as reports out of Europe say 11 people have been killed.

Meanwhile, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, local authorities said some 23,000 people were without power.

Authorities in the lagoon city of Venice had barred access to the central St Mark's Square, which was heavily flooded.

Venice's Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said a series of underwater barriers now being built in the lagoon would have prevented the inundation.

Regional governor Luca Zaia has warned that flooding could reach the levels of the disaster that struck the city in 1966.

City officials said that up to 75% of Venice was under water.

Schools in the city are also closed for the day, with Rome and several other regions also halting classesMeteorologists expect the harsh weather to gradually ease in Italy.

  • Rogelio Becker