The Italian government declared a state of emergency in Venice on Thursday, following days of flooding caused by high tides and a storm surge driven by strong winds. The city is experiencing its worst flooding in more than five decades, with flood levels reaching 6 feet, 2 inches on Tuesday, and 3 feet, 8 inches on Thursday. The flooding has caused extensive damage to buildings, stores, and infrastructure, with the crypt at St. Mark's Basilica, built more than 1,000 years ago, filled with water and a third of Venice's raised walkways destroyed. "It hurts to see the city so damaged, its artistic heritage compromised, its commercial activities on its knees," Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Wednesday. More flooding is expected in the next few days.

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