NEWS
30/10/2018 10:01 GMT | Updated 30/10/2018 12:10 GMT

Venice Flooding: 75% Of City Is Under Water As Deadly Storms Kill Nine People In Italy

'Stay at home. Do not go outside for any reason.'

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

Nine people have been killed as trees were brought crashing down and rivers were left dangerously swollen across Italy.

Two young people died south of Rome when a tree hit the car 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.

“Stay at home. Do not go outside for any reason,” Terracina Mayor Nicola Procaccini told residents.

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 A couple wading in Piazza San Marco.

In Venice, tourists were left wading through knee-high water which swamped the elevated walkways that are normally sufficient to navigate the regular seasonal water level rise.

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The historic city frequently floods when high winds push in water from the lagoon, but Monday’s levels were exceptional. The peak level was the highest since December 2008, according to Venice statistics.

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A typical Venetian boat sails in 'Campo San Giacometto'.

Local authorities said the high tide hit a maximum of 156 centimetres (5.12 ft) in early afternoon – the fourth highest level ever recorded. City officials said that up to 75% of Venice was under water.

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Tourists carry a stroller through the flood waters.

The national Civil Protection Agency issued multiple weather warnings as storms swept much of the country, with many local authorities shutting schools and urging people not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

Dozens of trees were reported uprooted across Rome and many parks and tourist sites were closed, including the Roman Forum and Colosseum. Further south, the ancient Roman city of Pompeii was shuttered because of the blustery conditions.

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At the other end of the country, authorities in the lagoon city of Venice barred access to the central St Mark’s Square, which was heavily flooded.

With further bad weather forecast, dozens of towns and cities said they would keep their schools closed on Tuesday, including in Rome, Venice, Verona and Naples.