Storms have been hammering Italy for the last three days, causing unprecedented destruction and even taking a few lives. According to the BBC, at least 11 people have died as a result of the storm–thousands of others are directly impacted. Over 70% of Venice is currently underwater.
People in the lagoon city are trying to deal with the water damage, while wading through over knee-high water. Pictures and videos are spreading over the internet of tourists and locals walking through the flooded streets–some even trying to conduct business as usual.
Meanwhile, other regions are dealing with other frightening prospects. For instance, some towns encountered landslides due to the storms; one woman died as a result. Another coastal town, Terracina, was hit by two tornadoes.
According to the Guardian, the weather is expected to let up today, which will hopefully help the floodwater recede. Still, the damage will surely be shocking. Venice’s St. Mark’s Basilica, a 1,000-year-old cathedral with mosaic flooring, has been totally covered in water. “It is becoming ever more difficult for us and indeed could become impossible for us to repair the damage, especially in an age of climate change,” said Carlo Tesserin, the church’s chief administrator, to the Guardian. He believes the water damage may have caused the famous landmark to age at least 20 years.
According to Weather.com, Venice’s mayor said that the city has been trying to put in new underwater barriers that would have better protected it from a storm like this. The project has been hampered by budget woes and political corruption. Perhaps this week’s destruction will help move the project along to prevent further tragedy.