Venice has been hit by further devastating floods today as the city suffered an exceptionally high 4.9ft tide.
It makes the flooding suffered by residents this week the worst since official tide statistics began.
The city’s centre for tide forecasts had warned the tide could reach 160cm – 5ft 2in – on Sunday, with water levels peaking at just under 5ft at around midday.
Water flooded St. Mark’s Square which was shut once again today after opening briefly on Saturday.
Hundreds of volunteers have been drafted in to help citizens cope with the emergency.
The city was hit by a high tide of 6ft 1in on Tuesday, just short of the record set in 1966, creating the city’s worst flooding for 50 years.
In normal conditions, tides of 2ft 6in-2ft 9in are generally seen as high but manageable.
But with four tides measuring above 4ft 5in since Monday, this is the worst week for high tides in Venice since 1872 when official statistics were first produced.
Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, who has been appointed special commissioner to deal with the emergency, estimated damages from the flooding in the city since Tuesday at around €1billion (around £856 million).
Authorities in Florence and Pisa were also closely monitoring the Arno river, whose water levels rose rapidly in the night due to heavy rain.
Italy’s longest river, the Po, which runs across northern Italy passing through Turin, was also being monitored after its level rose by 1.5 metres in the last 24 hours due to heavy rain.