ROME -- Italy's government is set to declare a state of emergency in flood-ravaged Venice, to swiftly secure the historic city funds to repair damage from the highest tide in 50 years.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte described the flooding as "a blow to the heart of our country."
He said a cabinet meeting called for Thursday afternoon will declare a state of emergency and approve the first measures aimed at helping the city's recovery.
Conte spent Wednesday night in Venice, where world-famous monuments, homes and businesses were hit hard by the exceptional flooding. The water reached 1.87 meters above sea level Tuesday, the second-highest level ever recorded in the city.
Venice's mayor said the damage is estimated at "hundreds of millions of euros."