[ti:Venice: Underwater From Rising Waters]
[00:00.04]Venice, Italy is experiencing its worst flooding in more than 50 years.
[00:08.35]The floods resulted in calls Wednesday
[00:12.65]to help protect the historic city from rising sea levels.
[00:19.57]Italian officials estimate the flood waters have caused
[00:25.22]hundreds of millions of euros in damage.
[00:29.84]The water reached 1.87 meters above sea level Tuesday.
[00:38.48]It was the second-highest level ever recorded in Venice
[00:44.47]and just 7 centimeters lower than the historic flood of 1966.
[00:53.85]Another wave of very high water followed on Wednesday.
[01:01.24]"Venice is on its knees,'' Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said on Twitter.
[01:08.86]He added that "St. Mark's Basilica has sustained serious damage,
[01:16.59]like the entire city and its islands."
[01:20.44]The mayor declared a state of emergency in the city.
[01:24.92]The historic St. Mark's Basilica was flooded, while many squares
[01:32.12]and passages between buildings were left deep under water.
[01:38.64]Flood waters entered the crypt under the basilica
[01:42.60]for only the second time in its history.
[01:46.79]The water entered through windows, moving past all defenses to the burial area.
[01:55.76]Brugnaro said on Wednesday that the combination of two wind fronts
[02:03.14]caused the second-highest tide ever recorded in Venice.
[02:10.92]"Winds from the north and south entered the harbor entrance
[02:16.43]pushing the sea into the lagoon and increasing the tide," he said.
[02:22.60]The mayor added that the sea had covered the island of Pellestrina
[02:29.72]— a landmass that defends the lagoon city.
[02:35.84]Nearly every home on the island appeared to have flood waters
[02:41.22]reaching their front doors or entrances.
[02:45.20]One man died on Pellestrina while trying to pump water out of his house.
[02:53.30]People visiting Venice floated suitcases through St. Mark's Square.
[03:00.00]Officials removed walkways to prevent the suitcases from floating away.
[03:07.38]Water poured through wooden boards that store and hotel owners
[03:13.60]placed in front of doors to hold back water during flooding.
[03:20.44]Travelers staying on the ground floor of hotels
[03:24.30]were forced to move to upper floors overnight.
[03:30.24]Pictures on social media showed a city ferry, water taxis and gondolas
[03:37.74]— another kind of boat — grounded on walkways.
[03:42.54]At least 60 boats were damaged in the flooding, civil protection officials said.
[03:51.52]Brugnaro said the damage would reach hundreds of millions of euros,
[03:58.01]and he called on Italy's government to declare a state of emergency.
[04:04.42]Venice's mayor told reporters it was not just about the financial damages,
[04:12.15]"but of the very future of the city."
[04:16.60]He said people would leave the city because of the flooding.
[04:23.88]The city is built upon a system of canals.
[04:29.56]Brugnaro blamed climate change for the "dramatic situation."
[04:36.04]He called for quick completion of a long-delayed project called ‘Moses.'
[04:43.51]This project involves building movable undersea barriers to limit flooding.
[04:51.57]No launch date is in sight.
[04:54.69]The worst may be yet to come.
[04:58.22]More bad weather is predicted to come over the next few days.
[05:05.62]I'm Anne Ball. 更多聽力請訪問51VOA.COM