Nine dead in Italy as severe weather leaves Venice engulfed in water

Tourists wade under arches next to the flooded St Mark's Square

The water rose 160 centimeters (five feet, three inches) above sea level at high tide, meaning that at least 77% of the city was under water.

Six people died on Monday as trees were brought crashing down and rivers were left dangerously swollen.

Three-quarters of the Italian city, beloved by British tourists, is now underwater, with even elevated sidewalks being inundated in certain areas.

The severe weather did not stop a marathon taking place in the on Sunday. They also barred access to the central St Mark's Square, which was heavily flooded. "Schools in many cities are closed. You should follow the advice of local authorities".

The high-water threat has been increasing in recent years as heavier rains have hit northern Italy, weather experts say.

People walk in a flooded Saint Mark Square during a period of seasonal high water in Venice, Italy October 29, 2018 Reuters/Manuel Silvestri A woman looks at destroyed yachts which lie on the shore after windstorm and the strong sea storm in Rapallo, Italy, October 30, 2018. Transport officials closed the water bus system except to outlying islands due to the emergency.

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Residents and businesses typically reinforce their doors with metal or wooden panels to prevent water from entering the bottom floors, but photos on social media showed shop owners using water pumps this time to try to protect their wares.

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.

Two young people died south of Rome when a tree hit the auto they were travelling in, while another person was killed and several injured in the nearby town of Terracina after howling winds brought down scores of slender, tall pine trees.

Luca Zaia, head of the Veneto region, said he was anxious that the situation could be worse than the huge floods in 2010.

Several major tourist spots across Italy, including the Colosseum in Rome, have been reportedly shut down because of heavy rains and winds in the country.

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The Interior Ministry urged officials in storm-struck regions, about half of the country, to consider closing schools and offices for a second day on Tuesday.

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