Venice Flooding Photos: Most of City Underwater After Highest Tide in Ten Years

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Tourists wade through water covering Venice's St. Mark's Square after the high tide hit 156 centimeters (about 5 feet one-and-a-half inches), the fourth highest level ever recorded. Stefano Mazzola/Awakening/Getty Images

Venice was inundated by an exceptionally high tide on Monday (October 29), leaving up to 75 percent of the city underwater.

Local authorities said the tide hit 156 centimeters (5ft 1.5in), the fourth highest level ever recorded in the city, and the highest in a decade.

Deep water covered the lagoon city's most famous square, making it almost impossible to see where the land ended and the sea began. Tourists edged along raised walkways or waded through the water with their luggage on their heads.

Elsewhere, in central and southern Italy, five people died as gale-force winds brought trees crashing down and heavy rains left many rivers dangerously swollen, rescue services said.

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.

Luca Zaia, governor of the Veneto region, told AP he feared further flooding this week could reach the levels of the 1966 flood that left thousands of residents homeless and caused millions of dollars of damage.

This gallery shows how the acqua alta (high water) caused havoc for tourists and locals in the lagoon city.

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A couple wade across the flooded St. Mark's Square. Manuel Silvestri/Reuters
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A tourist wades through floodwaters in an arcade on the edge of St. Mark's Square. Stefano Mazzola/Awakening/Getty Images
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A bird's eye view of the flooded St. Mark's Square. Manuel Silvestri/Reuters
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People walk along narrow catwalks to cross the flooded square. Manuel Silvestri/Reuters
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Tourists walk on a footbridge in a flooded street near St. Mark's Square during a high-water (Acqua Alta) alert in Venice. Miguel Medina/AFP
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Tourists carry their luggage through water near the Rialto bridge. Stefano Mazzola/Awakening/Getty Images
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Locals use a typical Venetian boat to cross the Campo San Giacometto di Rialto. Stefano Mazzola/Awakening/Getty Images
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People walk past gondolas moored in the swollen lagoon. Manuel Silvestri/Reuters
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A man sits on a chair in the flooded St. Mark's Square. Miguel Medina/AFP
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Chairs float in the water covering St. Mark's Square during a high-water (Acqua Alta) alert in Venice. Miguel Medina/AFP
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People wade through water on a flooded street in Venice. Manuel Silvestri/Reuters