Italy is set to declare a state of emergency in Venice

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VeniceFlooding

Italy is set to declare a state of emergency in Venice after the Italian city was engulfed by 1.87m (6ft) high water levels, flooding its historic basilica and cutting power to homes.

More than 80% of the city, a UNESCO world heritage site, was under water when tides were at their highest.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte described the flooding as a blow to the heart of the country.

He said the government would now act quickly to provide funds and resources.

He said the government would “accelerate” the building of structural defences for the lagoon city, referring specifically to the so-called Mose project – a hydraulic barrier system to shut off the lagoon in the event of rising sea levels and winter storms.

The prime minister said he intended to declare emergency measures on Thursday, adding that individuals could claim up to €5,000 and businesses up to €20,000, in compensation.