The exceptionally intense “acqua alta,” or high water, peaked at 1.87 meters late Tuesday.
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Dirty water swirls around marble tombs inside the 12th century crypt of Venice's St. Mark's Basilica, which suffered untold damage when an unprecedented high tide swept through the city.The exceptionally intense "acqua alta," or high water, peaked at 1.87 meters late Tuesday, forcing stranded tourists to wade through rapidly rising waters in the dark in search of safety as the flood alarm rang out.Only once since records began in 1923 has the water crept even higher, reaching 1.94 meters in 1966 .The plan involves 78 gates that can be raised to protect Venice's lagoon during high tides -- but a recent attempt to test part of the barrier caused worrying vibrations and engineers discovered parts had rusted.
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