Italy: Nearly 15 million fruit trees at risk from floodwater
Heavy rains have impacted the northern Italian region of Emilia Romagna, causing flooding and ravaging production in one of the country’s most important fruit-growing regions.
More than 20 river banks have bursed submerging thousands of acres of fertile land, mainly of pears, peaches, nectarines, apricots, and plums with nearly a third of Italy's total fruit production.
Reuters reported that some 5,000 farms have been affected by the storms.
Sergio Tardani, a representative of farm lobby Coldiretti, told Reuters that they are “on our knees,” regarding the flooding and estimated damages at more than $1.6 billion.
Animals and wheat have also been affected by the rains, thousands of animals including sheep, cattle, pigs and goats have died.
Even though the costs of damages have not yet been calculated, Tardani predicts that it will take years for farmers in the region to recover, and the total death toll is still unknown as many areas have not been accessed as of Monday.
The Italian government is expected to address the crisis by meeting with local producers and applying tax breaks to the region.