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Italy declares state of emergency in flood-hit Venice

Italy declares state of emergency in flood-hit Venice

ROME: The Italian government has approved a state of emergency and 20 million euros (US$22 million) is being set aside following Venice’s worst flooding in over 50 years, Anadolu Agency reported, quoting Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Thursday.

The northeastern city, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been flooded since Tuesday due to heavy rains that coincided with a high tide.

The flood level reached 1.87 meters (6.1 feet) late Tuesday night — the second-highest level ever recorded in the city.

Symbols of the city are underwater and many museums have closed.

Conte said those affected by the flood could apply for 5,000 euros (US$5,500) in initial compensation while businesses can get up to 20,000 euros (US$22,000).

Venice experiences floods every year, but its worst flood in history occurred in 1966 at 1.94 meters (6.36 feet).