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Venice Swamped by Highest Tide Since 1966

Newser — Rob Quinn

Venice is no stranger to flooding—the Italian city is made up of 118 islands in a lagoon—but what it is experiencing this week is extraordinary. Mayor Luigi Brugnaro plans to declare a state of emergency amid major flooding caused by the second-highest tide on record, the Guardian reports.

The high-water mark hit 74 inches Tuesday night, exceeded only by the 76-inch level reached by flooding in 1966. The flooding caused at least two deaths, including that of a man apparently electrocuted by a pump.

St. Mark's Basilica was flooded for the sixth time in 1,200 years, the BBC reports. Brugnaro warned that the flooding will leave a "permanent mark" on Venice.

"Now the government must listen," he added. "These are the effects of climate change ... the costs will be high."

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This article originally appeared on Newser: Venice Swamped by Highest Tide Since 1966