the government of Italy is heading to declare a state of emergency due to the drought that affects much of the country, especially the basins of the rivers Po, in the north, and Tiber, in the center.
“I believe that the conditions exist to declare a state of emergency”, said this Tuesday (21) the undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, Andrea Costa, in an interview with the Sky TG24 broadcaster.
The Italian regions, especially those in the north, are already pressing the government to declare a state of emergency, which would speed up the release of resources to combat the effects of the drought, especially in the agriculture sector.
“The concerns of the regions are justified, and the government will make a decision together with the regions,” added Costa.
Former Prime Minister Enrico Letta, leader of Italy’s center-left, visited the Rio Po area and reinforced the call for a state of emergency “as soon as possible”. “I was able to touch the issue of drought with my hand”, declared Letta, who is part of the support base for Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
In turn, the Minister of Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani, said he was “very worried” about the situation.
“The flow of water is crucial for the hydroelectric sector, including for the cooling of the plants”, he reinforced.
Italian energy company Enel has already been forced to shut down the turbines at a power plant in the province of Piacenza because of the drought on the Po River, which is at its lowest level in 70 years.
Parts of northern Italy face more than 100 days without rain, a scenario that has worsened with rising temperatures in recent days. According to the farmers’ confederation Coldiretti, the drought has already caused more than €2 billion in damage to the sector, and 28% of Italian territory is at risk of desertification.