Flooded Venice has been hit by a new high tide of 160cm (5.3ft), giving residents no respite from a crisis costing millions of euros.
World-famous St Mark’s Square, a magnet for tourists, has been closed, and schools are shut for a third day.
The Italian city’s famous water buses – the vaporetti – have stopped running.
Image caption: Walkways were removed from St Mark’s Square, which is now closed, Image copyright REUTERS
The 187cm peak on Tuesday was the highest level for more than 50 years, damaging cultural monuments, businesses and homes. More than 80% of the canal city was flooded.
The government declared a state of emergency in the Unesco world heritage site.
Residents with flood-damaged homes will get up to €5,000 (£4,300; $5,500), and businesses up to €20,000 in compensation.
Desperate measures as water seeps everywhere
The BBC’s Jenny Hill in Venice writes:
The first flood sirens went off at dawn, an eerie sound rising over the ancient bridges and waterways of the city.
Within a couple of hours, the murky green water of the Grand Canal had risen level with its bank, slapping over the paving stones as boats went past.
Nearby streets quickly flooded. Tourists, shoes covered in plastic bags, carried their luggage along raised narrow trestle walkways, which the authorities have put up to keep the pedestrian traffic moving.
On either side, dirty water continued to rise. At ground level, in their wellies, business owners were already starting to operate small pumps. Many had raised the flood barriers across their doorways – apparently to little effect. Water was already seeping up to ankle height in the souvenir shops and cafes.
Image caption: The Grand Canal’s water is now level with the pavement
“It hurts to see the city so damaged, its artistic heritage compromised, its commercial activities on its knees,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who visited Venice on Wednesday, wrote in a Facebook post (in Italian).