Venice was underwater yesterday as violent storms swept across Italy.
The first high water of the autumn hit Venice Monday and emergency sirens blared across the lagoon city yesterday as tourists were evacuated from the centre.
75% of the city centre was underwater, officials said, after high tides and stormy weather caused waters in the canal-ringed city to reach historic high levels.
Yesterday visitors were barred from St. Mark’s Square and police carried children to safety as the “acqua alta” (high water) passed the 110 cm – at which citizens are alerted to potential danger – and then kept rising.
Local authorities said the water peaked at 156 centimetres by early afternoon.
The elevated wooden platforms usually placed on main passageways in the Renaissance city were not enough to ensure safe passage in the low-lying square.
The high water level also halted the city’s vaporetto services. While some tourists donned wellies, others had opted to take off their shoes and wade through the water.