Venice floods cause mayor to declare a state of emergency

Australians ordered to flee flames as fires rage in east and west

Australian officials on Wednesday ordered residents and tourists to get out of the way of fast-approaching flames as firefighters struggled to contain more than 150 bushfires raging on both the east and west coasts.

While cooler weather overnight brought some relief for firefighters in New South Wales (NSW) state, of which Sydney is capital, attention shifted to its northern neighbour, Queensland, where more than 80 fires threatened lives and homes.

Authorities issued a “leave immediately” warning, the highest level, for several areas including Noosa, a beachside holiday destination 150 km (93 miles) north of Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland…


Venice floods cause mayor to declare a state of emergency

Powerful rainstorms hit northern Italy on November 12. A cyclone threatened the country and an exceptionally high tide reached the city. In Venice, high water levels are normal at this time of year and are traditionally referred to as “Acqua Alta” — high water. Popular tourist destination St Mark’s Square flooded and made access difficult.

These are the worst floods to hit the city in more than 50 years. The mayor has blamed climate change and pleaded for government assistance as the city braces for a second day of high water. Venice called a state of emergency after severe floods swamped its historic basilica and left many of its squares and alleyways inundated with water. Flood levels were the second-highest ever recorded, peaking at 187 centimeters (74 inches), just shy of the 194 centimeters recorded in 1966.

One man died overnight, electrocuted as he operated an electric pump on Pellestrina, one of the many islands in the Venetian lagoon, according to the fire brigade…


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