Venice [Italy], Nov 13 : An elderly man has died in the worst floods to hit Venice in more than 50 years, as Mayor Luigi Brugnaro blamed climate change for the high tides and is prepared to declare a state of emergency.
The unnamed man was killed on Tuesday night while he was trying to run electric pumps at his home on the island of Pellestrina,CNN quoted Alessandro Bertasi, spokesman for Venice's mayor as saying.
The popular tourist destination was struck by an exceptionally high tide on Tuesday night, which peaked at 187 centimeters (73.6 inches), according to a statement by Venice's government Wednesday morning.
Venice's mayor Luigi Brugnaro, in a tweet, said "We're currently facing an exceptionally high tide. Everyone has been mobilised to cope with the emergency."
In another tweet, Brugnaro also blamed climate change for the unusually high tides, and said the tide was "a wound that will leave a permanent mark."
Adding that over 30 volunteers will be deployed on Wednesday to help with the clean-up, the Tide Forecasting and Reporting Center of Civil Protection said that almost 45% of the city was flooded.
St Mark's Square, one of the lowest parts of the city, was one among the worst-hit areas in the city.
According to government statistics, it is the worst flooding in Venice since 1966, when the city was hit by tides up to 194 cm (76.4 inches) high.