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Venice flooding kills at least 11, puts city under worst water levels in 6 years

Click to play video: 'Three-quarters of Venice flooded by high tide as extreme weather hits Italian city' Three-quarters of Venice flooded by high tide as extreme weather hits Italian city
WATCH: Three-quarters of Venice flooded by high tide as extreme weather hits Italian city – Oct 30, 2018

Heavy rains and high winds buffeting much of Italy have killed 11 people over two days, officials said Tuesday.

Venice, a tourist destination known for its canals and gondolas, has just seen three-quarters of the city go underwater amid the worst flooding it has experienced in six years.

READ MORE: Dramatic image of rare Venice tornado captured by American tourists

The city along the Adriatic Sea in Northern Italy found itself under more than one-and-a-half metres of water on Monday, reaching levels that triggered sirens and forced the shutdown of its water-bus service, save for the outer island, ABC News reported.

WATCH: Heavy storm leaves Rome and some of its subway stations flooded (Oct. 22)

Click to play video: 'Heavy storm leaves Rome and some of its subway stations flooded' Heavy storm leaves Rome and some of its subway stations flooded
Heavy storm leaves Rome and some of its subway stations flooded – Oct 22, 2018

The flooding happened amid a high tide as well as windy weather that prevailed right across the country.

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It’s not uncommon for Venice to see flooding amid high winds, but this was something new — the last time water hit such levels in the city was in 2008.

The water was so high that walkways set out to help people navigate the city had to be taken down.

A view of a flooded Saint Mark Square during a period of seasonal high water in Venice, Italy October 29, 2018. Reuters/Manuel Silvestri

The flooding is known as “acqua alta,” or “high water,” in Venice.

Three central causes have been identified in connection with the floods there, according to ABC: offshore methane gas extraction that’s affecting the area’s islands, silt that’s causing a higher floor in the Venetian lagoon and sea levels that are rising due to climate change.

Venice’s current flooding happened after high winds blew water into the city from the lagoon.

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A view of flooded Saint Mark Square during a period of seasonal high water in Venice, Italy October 29, 2018. REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri

The water eventually receded, but there were nevertheless concerns that the flooding could reach record levels like it saw during a historic event in 1966.

Venice is undertaking a project to install gates at the entrances to the Venetian Lagoon, which can rise during storms and provide a barrier against high water from the Adriatic Sea.

Once known as Project Moses, the initiative has been slowed by arguments between politicians. Experts aren’t optimistic that it will be completed, according to CBS News.

A view of flooded Saint Mark Square during a period of seasonal high water in Venice, Italy October 29, 2018. REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri

Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro wants to speak with Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte about the project to prevent flooding that happens as many as four times per year.

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Here are some more photos of the flooding that happened in Venice on Monday:

People walk in flooded Saint Mark Square during a period of seasonal high water in Venice, Italy October 29, 2018. REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri
Workers prepare the catwalk in a flooded Saint Mark Square during a period of seasonal high water in Venice, Italy October 29, 2018. Reuters/Manuel Silvestri
People walk on a catwalk in a flooded Saint Mark Square during a period of seasonal high water in Venice, Italy October 29, 2018. Reuters/Manuel Silvestri
A tourist wanders in high water in Venice, Italy, 29 October 2018. EPA/ANDREA MEROLA via AP
Tourists wander in high water in Venice, Italy, 29 October 2018. EPA/ANDREA MEROLA
Tourists wander in high water in Venice, northern Italy, 29 October 2018. EPA/ANDREA MEROLA via AP
Tourists wander in high water in Venice, northern Italy, 29 October 2018. EPA/ANDREA MEROLA via AP

With files from Reuters and The Associated Press

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