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Italy declares a drought-stricken northern emergency

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Rome — Italy declared on Monday an emergency around the Po River, which accounts for about one-third of the country's agricultural production and has suffered the worst drought in 70 years.

Government legislation allows authorities to break bureaucratic formalism and take immediate action when deemed necessary, such as imposing water distribution on homes and businesses.

Po is Italy's longest river, flowing over 650 km (400 miles) in the wealthy northern part of Italy. However, many parts of the waterways are depleted, and farmers say that the flow is so weak that seawater seeps inland and destroys crops.

The government said in a statement that emergency measures would cover land adjacent to the Po and Eastern Alps basins.

In a broader sense, it introduced an emergency in the five northern regions of Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Julia, Lombardy, Piedmont and Veneto, funding the first € 36.5 million ($ 38 million). Was assigned. Work on water shortages.

"The State of Emergency aims to manage the current situation with extraordinary means and power, with relief and support for the affected people," the government said. ..

After very dry winters and springs, followed by very hot early summers, more in the future to deal with the drought that water authorities say is increasingly affecting central Italy. He added that measures could be taken.

Italian media say that Prime Minister Mario Draghi is considering appointing a member to coordinate the drought response in the same way that the government created a member to oversee the coronavirus crisis. I reported. ($ 1 = € 0.9596) (Reported by Angelo Amante, edited by Giulia Segreti and Alex Richardson)