Page last updated at 15:12 GMT, Monday, 1 December 2008

In pictures: Venice under water

A man wades through water in Venice

The Italian lagoon city of Venice in the Adriatic has suffered its highest flooding in more than 20 years.

A man carries a woman on a flooded street in Venice

Driven by high winds, the sea level rose 1.56m above normal, forcing residents and tourists to wade through almost knee-high water.

Emergency workers in St Mark's Square move boards which are usually used to create walkways

Raised wooden walkways had to be installed in St Mark's Square - the lowest point in the city - which was nearly one metre under water at one point.

Tourists try to build a walkway with chairs to cross St Mark's Square

But the waters rose so quickly that some tourists were forced to improvise.

People walk on a flooded quay of the Grand Canal

Sirens and loudspeaker announcements reinforced the flood alert, amid fears that the sea level could rise even higher.

Shopkeepers try to protect their shop with a wood panel

Many shops and ground floor flats were affected in the city, which is built on a series of small islands.

A woman waits for a boat in Venice

The situation was also complicated by a strike affecting the famous "vaporetto" water buses.

People wade through high water by the Rialto Bridge

But Venice's worst flooding since 1986 was short lived, and began to subside after a change in the wind direction.


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