Venice experienced more floods and fierce winds on Saturday after a very high tide swamped the city of canals, where authorities have declared a state of emergency.
Mayor Luigi Brugnaro ordered the iconic St Mark’s Square closed on Friday as the latest sea surge struck with strong storms and winds battering the region.
It reached a high of 1.54 metres (five feet) just before midday lower than Tuesday’s peak but still dangerous.
“I’m forced to close the square to avoid health risks for citizens… a disaster,” Brugnaro said.
In the afternoon the square reopened as water levels receded.
But civil protection authorities issued a weather “red alert” for the Venice region on Saturday, warning of violent winds.
Churches, shops and homes in the UNESCO city have been inundated by unusually intense “acqua alta”, or high water, which on Tuesday hit their highest level in half a century.
“We’ve destroyed Venice, we’re talking about one billion (euros) in damage and that’s just from the other day, not today,” Brugnaro said.
The crisis has prompted the government to release 20 million euros ($22 million) in funds to tackle the devastation.
A Mexican tourist identified as Oscar Calzada, was quoted saying, “It’s shocking to see this, having water up to your knees,” Mexican tourist Oscar Calzada.