Several dead after extreme winds, heavy rain, tornados

Several dead after extreme winds, heavy rain, tornados

REUTERS/Massimo Pinca People walk in a flooded Saint Mark Square during a period of seasonal high water in Venice, Italy October 29, 2018 Reuters/Manuel Silvestri Destroyed yachts lie on the shore after windstorm and the strong sea storm in Rapallo, Italy, October 30, 2018.

Nearly all parts of northern Italy are on alert due to the storms, with wind gusting up to 100 km per hour and rainfall in some parts equivalent to the amount that falls over several months.

Venice has been hit by an exceptional high tide, putting three-quarters of the famed lagoon city under water.

The Guardian reported that Monday witnessed strong winds in Venice, which raised the water level to more than 5 feet, rendering even the eleavted walkways useless.

Venice's Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said a series of underwater barriers now being built in the lagoon would have prevented the inundation.

The usual trend of the flood waters is to flow right into Venice's Grand Canal.

High winds toppled trees that killed passers-by in four incidents in Naples, Lazio and Liguria.

Three quarters of the city of Venice is under water as gale-force winds and torrential rain brings chaos to Italy.

A project for this, nicknamed Moses, is said to be in the pipeline, but it is being severely delayed by cost overruns and corruption scandals.

Italian media said it was the second time this century that the basilica had been flooded, and just the fifth time there had been such high water within the body of the cathedral in the structure's 1,000-year history.

The high water level halted vaporetto services.

Veneto regional governor Luca Zaia says flooding could reach the levels of the 1966 flood that inundated both Venice and Florence. While some tourists donned thigh-high wellies, others had opted to take off their shoes and wade through the water.

Much of Italy is under alert for flooding from heavy rains, a problem exacerbated by a lack of maintenance of river beds.

Extreme weather was expected to continue across the north on Tuesday, though only eight per cent of Venice was expected to remain underwater by the end of the day - thwarting predictions made on Monday that it could be the worst to ever hit the city.

Officials also closed major tourist attractions, including the Colosseum and Roman Forum.

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