WW2 bomb revealed in drought-hit waters of Italy’s River Po

BORGO VIRGILIO, Italy, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Heat waves have not only swept Europe this summer, but also brought record high temperatures and scorched fields: Italy’s drought-stricken Po River is flowing so low it has exposed previously sunken World War II bombs.

A 450-kilogram (1,000-pound) bomb found on July 25 near the northern village of Borgo Virgilio, near the city of Mantua, was defused and detonated by military experts on Sunday.

“Fishermen found the bomb on the banks of the Po River when the water level was low due to the drought,” said Colonel Marco Nasi.

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Defusing the bomb was not an easy task.

About 3,000 people living nearby were evacuated for an evacuation drive, the army said. The area’s airspace was closed and navigation on that stretch of waterway as well as rail traffic and traffic on nearby state lines were halted.

“In the beginning, some residents said they wouldn’t move, but in the last few days, we think we’ve convinced everyone,” said Borgo Virgilio mayor Francesco Aporti, adding that the operation would have been carried out if people had refused to leave. stalled

Bomb disposal engineers removed the fuse from the US-made device, which the military said contained 240 kg (530 lb) of explosives.

The bomb disposal squad, assisted by the police, then moved the device about 45 km (30 mi) to a quarry in Medole municipality, where it was destroyed.

Italy declared a state of emergency last month for areas around the Po, the country’s longest river. It accounts for roughly a third of Italy’s agricultural output and is enduring its worst drought in 70 years. Read on

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Reporting by Oriana Bocelli Writing by Federico Maccioni Editing by Frances Carey

Our Standards: Principles of Thomson Reuters Trust.

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