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  • About 6,000 firefighters have been dispatched across Italy to clean up.

    About 6,000 firefighters have been dispatched across Italy to clean up. | Photo: Reuters

Published 31 October 2018

Doors, floors and columns of 924-year-old St. Mark's Basilica sustained serious damage from being inundated with water for more than 16 hours.

The death toll, from the devastating storms that have soaked Italy, has risen to 11, civil protection authorities said Tuesday.

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"It was the perfect storm during which adverse meteorological conditions contributed to the situation in the sea and winds," civil protection chief, Angelo Borrelli, said.

Many of the deaths resulted from falling trees. Some regions experienced up to 110-mph winds when the disaster struck the tourist region. On Monday, local authorities said water had risen to and peaked at about 156 centimeters. 

Schools were closed and several dozen visitors have been stranded in the north of the country.

Doors, floors and columns of 924-year-old St. Mark's Basilica sustained serious damage from being inundated with water for more than 16 hours.

“The basilica has aged 20 years in just one day, and perhaps I am being overly optimistic about that,” Carlo Tesserin, church chief administrator, said. ”It is becoming ever more difficult for us and indeed could become impossible for us to repair the damage, especially in an age of climate change.”

The airport in Genoa has been closed pending the clearance of the runways.

Extensive flooding and a landslide caused the Brenner highway, which connects Italy with Austria, to be closed. In Rome, more than 100 trees were felled while olive farmers, in Liguria, estimated that about one-third of their crop was destroyed.

About 6,000 firefighters have been dispatched across the country to clean up.

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