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A flooded St Mark's Square in Venice on Friday. Luca Bruno/AP/Press Association Images
State of Emergency

St Mark's Square in Venice re-opens after major flooding

Tourists and residents can now return to the historic square.

TOURISTS AND RESIDENTS have been allowed back into St Mark’s Square in Venice a day after it was closed due to exceptionally high tidal waters that swept through most of the city’s already-devastated centre.

Despite sunny skies, the city remained on edge today due to possibly more wind-propelled high tidal waters during the weekend. The city was struck on Tuesday by devastating floods, the worst in decades.

By late Saturday morning, water was rising again in St Mark’s Square and the forecast for Sunday was worse. The tide was expected to peak at 1.15 metres above sea level on Saturday at noon.

Late Tuesday, water levels in Venice reached 1.87 metres above sea level, the highest flooding since 1966.

The damage to the city is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of euros, with hopes that funds can be secured to restore the historic city. 

On Thursday, the Italian government declared a state of emergency in the city. 

Giuseppe Conte, the Italian prime minister, had said that the flood was a “blow to the heart of our country”. 

Since 2003, a massive infrastructure project has been underway to protect the city, but it has been plagued by cost overruns, scandals and delays.

With reporting from Dominic McGrath

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