April 17, 2024

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Italy has declared a state of emergency in five northern regions

Italy has declared a state of emergency in five northern regions

Italy declared a state of emergency in five northern regions on Monday and announced the release of 36.5 million euros ($49 million) in funding to deal with the drought that has plagued the Po Valley for weeks.

• Read more: Glacier collapse in Italy linked to global warming

• Read more: Italy: Drought-stricken Verona rations drinking water

The government announced in a press release that the Council of Ministers has approved the establishment of a state of emergency until December 31 in Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Veneto and Piedmont.

The Italian peninsula is facing an unusually early heat wave, accompanied by a lack of rain, particularly in the agricultural plain of Po, which has suffered its worst drought in 70 years.

The state of emergency aims to provide “extraordinary means and powers” to ensure the implementation of emergency interventions necessary to ensure public safety, public and private property and repair damage caused by normal living conditions.

According to Coldretty, the country’s largest agricultural association, the drought threatens more than 30% of national agricultural production, particularly half of farms in the Po Valley, where Burma ham is produced.

Lake Maggiore and Lake Garda are showing lower than normal water levels for this time of year, and the Tiber, which flows south through Rome, has also dropped.

The Po represents the largest reservoir in the peninsula, a large part of which is used by farmers.

In recent days, several municipalities have announced containment measures: Verona, a city of a quarter of a million people, has rationed the use of drinking water, while Milan has decided to close its decorative fountains.

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Another consequence of the drought: hydropower production has fallen sharply, while hydroelectric installations located in the mountains of northern Italy produce almost 20% of the country’s energy.

The announcement comes a day after at least seven people died after a glacier collapsed in the Italian Alps, which Prime Minister Mario Draghi said was “undoubtedly” linked to global warming.