ST Mark’s Square in Venice has been re-opened a day after it was closed due to exceptionally high tidal waters that swept through the World Heritage city’s centre.

The city was struck by devastating floods on Tuesday, with water levels reaching 1.87 metres above sea level, the highest flooding since 1966.

By late yesterday morning, water was rising again in St Mark’s Square and the forecast for today was worse. The tide was expected to peak at 1.15 metres above sea level yesterday at noon.

A lagoon city built amid a system of canals, Venice is particularly vulnerable to a combination of rising sea levels due to climate change coupled with the city’s well-documented sinking into the mud.

The sea level in Venice is four inches higher than it was 50 years ago, according to the city’s tide office.

Luigi Brugnaro, the city’s mayor, estimated damages from the flooding would reach at least €1 billion.

He has blamed climate change for the “dramatic situation”.