Venice mayor declares disaster as city hit by highest tide in 50 years

Water levels in Venice have not been this high since 1966.

Venice mayor Luigi Brugraro has declared a state of disaster after the lagoon city in northern Italy was hit by the second highest tide in more than 50 years.

The tide, which peaked at 187 cm at 22.50 on the night of 12 November, submerged St Mark's Square by more than one metre of water.

The tide also flooded St Mark's Basilica for only the sixth time in 1,200 years - according to Reuters - with four of those floods occurring in the last 20 years.

The Venice mayor warned of severe damage and blamed climate change for the high tide, whose levels fell just short of the record 194 cm set in 1966.