The flood-hit historic city of Venice will reopen all schools that were earlier closed due to high water tides, the city's mayor Luigi Brugnaro tweeted Sunday.
He also said forms for citizens and businesses to claim damages would be available shortly.
Venice was hit by a tide at 150 cm shortly after 1:00 p.m. (1200 GMT) on Sunday, according to the city's tide forecasting and reporting center, which said tides could reach a maximum of 110 cm on Monday and Tuesday, and would remain high in the next few days.
"Venice and the Venetians in the darkest periods have done the best things and this time we will all stand together again," Brugnaro said in another tweet Sunday, posting a video clip featuring himself standing on the flooded streets.
"Let's start from Venice to study the effects of climate change around the world," he said.
In an earlier tweet, Brugnaro said the devastating floodwaters were "effects of climate change" and that "MOSE must be finished soon."
MOSE, or Experimental Electromechanical Module, was first drawn up in 1987 for flood protection and has been under construction since 2003, but has received critics over its possible ecological damage.
It was originally scheduled to be completed last year but faces delays, with a price tag estimated at around 7 billion euros (7.7 billion U.S. dollars) once it is finished.
The historic lagoon city of Venice exists on the edge of a double threat: As it sinks, the seas rise.
That reality became more stark this week when Venice was hit with its worst flood in over 50 years, caused by a nearly 1.9 meter (6-foot) tide that sent waist-high water flowing through St. Mark’s Square, cast the city’s world-famous gondolas onto walkways, and threatened its medieval, Baroque and Renaissance art and architecture.
Damage to the City of Canals from the second-worst flood ever recorded was put at hundreds of millions of euros (dollars).
Against the backdrop of the disaster, a corruption-riddled underwater barrier system that was supposed to protect the city still is not operational after more than 16 years of construction and at least 5 billion euros of public funds. It was supposed to be working by 2011.
“It has been a generation of panels and engineers that have been working on it. No one can actually tell if it will actually be operational,” said Mechtild Rossler, director of the UNESCO World Heritage Center in Paris, which lists Venice as one of its legally protected World Heritage sites because of its cultural and historical significance.
Called Moses — from the Italian acronym for experimental electromechanical modules, but also a nod to the biblical figure who parted the Red Sea — the system of 78 underwater barriers is designed to be raised as needed to block openings to the lagoon and hold back tides of 1.1 to 3 meters.
That would still leave exposed the lowest areas of the city, or about 12% of its area, including St. Mark’s Square.
Though nearly completed, the project still has not been even partially tested, and some parts have already started to corrode. It has also been marked by bribery scandals and overruns. Its initial costs were projected at 1.6 billion euros.
Even with the emergency, Moses won’t be operational before the end of next year.
At the same time, the threats to the city of a quarter-million people are growing.
While the latest round of flooding has been attributed mostly to a combination of high tides from a full moon and high winds pushing water from the shallow Adriatic Sea into Venice, climate scientists note that exceptional tides — those over 1.4 meters — have become much more frequent in the past two decades.
Of the 20 exceptional tides recorded from 1936 through Tuesday’s, more than half have occurred since 2000.
“It is a long-term issue. It is not the issue of one flood, we restore, and we go back to normal,” Rossler said.
Climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf of the University of Potsdam estimates that one-third of Venice’s increasing vulnerability is due to global warming, which has raised the sea level.
“The rest is mostly man-made,” he said.
The 1,600-year-old city is built on uncompacted settlement, which is sinking. Venice’s Tide Office said the net effect of the sinking and the rising sea has been a 30-centimeter (12-inch) drop since record-keeping began in 1873. About 10 to 11 centimeters of that took place since the last big flood, in 1966.
Venice is being monitored for inclusion on a list of World Heritage sites in danger, which serves as a call to action to the international community.
Other problems threatening the city include large numbers of tourists, which put stress on a city where even something as simple of trash collection must be done by boat, and the passage of cruise ships through St. Mark’s Basin.
The vessels release pollution, displace water into the city and carry other safety risks. Over the summer a cruise ship crashed into a boat and a dock.
The historic flooding only underscores the urgency to resolve Venice’s problems.
Even opponents of Moses, who have complained that it is technically flawed, too costly and damaging to the environment, now see it as the only expedient solution.
“We have to be pragmatic. Moses is almost done,” said Toto Bergamo Rossi of Venice Heritage, a nonprofit focused on conservation.
“Maybe it is the wrong project, but we have spent 5 billion euros, a number I cannot count. They have to finish, they have to rush to finish,” he said. “I hope this kind of catastrophe will finally give the right attention to Venice, because this city needs to be treated in a different way.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says security services will assess the risks posed by suspected Islamic State group members deported home to Germany by Turkey.
Merkel said Friday that Germany’s joint counter-terrorism center would apply the same procedures to them as with people already in the country “and then determine in each case whether there are security risks.”
Authorities in Berlin confirmed that a 55-year-old man, one of seven people deported Thursday to Germany by Turkey, has been detained on an existing warrant for fraud.
The other six people — four women, a man and a baby — were able to return to their home in Hildesheim, near Hannover.
Turkey accused them of being supporters of the Islamic State group.
The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France will meet in Paris on Dec. 9 to try to seek a settlement for the five-year conflict in eastern Ukraine that has killed 13,000 people.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s office announced the meeting Friday after months of diplomatic efforts to get all sides to agree on new talks.
Macron’s office said it’s time for a meeting because of “major advances” in negotiations since this summer, including troop withdrawals and prisoner exchanges.
Over the past several weeks, Ukrainian and rebel forces have pulled back from three frontline points. In September, Russia and Ukraine each released 35 of the others’ nationals who had been imprisoned, including high-profile Ukrainian sailors who had been seized by Russia.
Ukraine and the separatists last month signed a tentative agreement on holding elections in the rebel-held areas, a move that prompted substantial criticism among Ukrainians who saw the move as capitulation to Russia.
The leaders of the four countries first met in Normandy in 2014, and their group is dubbed the “Normandy Format.” They last met in this format in 2016, although discussions have continued at a lower level.
Macron's office says that the meeting will allow implementation of the Minsk accords, the 2015 agreement sponsored by France and Germany that envisages broad autonomy for the separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and an amnesty for the rebels.
There was no immediate comment from the Kremlin on Friday about the summit’s announcement.
A bus collided with a truck in Slovakia on Wednesday, killing at least 12 people and injuring at least 17 more, officials said.
Online news site tvnoviny.sk reported that the bus was carrying high school students.
Health Minister Andrea Kalavska, who was at the site, said four of the people killed were children, but did not release their ages.
The accident occurred in Nitranske Hrnciarovce, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of the capital Bratislava at around 1 p.m. (1200 GMT) police and firefighters said.
“At this moment, our thoughts are with the parents who lost their children,” Slovak President Zuzana Caputova said. “We all hope that the number of the victims won’t be rising.”
Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini called it a “horrible tragedy” and said he was cutting short his visit to Cyprus and heading to the scene.
He offered his condolences to the relatives of the victims.
Firefighters originally put the number of dead at 13 but later lowered it to 12. The injured are treated in nearby hospitals.
Photos from the scene published by the police showed an overturned truck on the road surrounded by gray stones it had been carrying as cargo and the bus on its side in a roadside ditch.
The Arriva company said its bus was traveling from Nitra, near the scene of the accident, to the town of Jelenec. It didn’t say how many people were onboard. It said it is fully cooperating with the rescuers.
Further details were not immediately available.