Italy announces state of emergency to tackle drought

ROME:  Due to the severe weather and drought that have affected the country, especially its north, the Italian government has declared a state of emergency.

The state of emergency, which will last until at least the end of the year, will provide the government more resources and authority to deal with the hot and dry conditions that might slash the nation's agricultural output by as much as a third.

To address severe water crisis, the government has also set aside a total of 36.5 million euros ($38.1 million) for the northern regions of Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Piedmont, and Veneto, the report said.

The Eastern Alps and the Po River, which is 85 percent below normal water levels and is Italy's longest river, will receive special attention. The majority of Italy has been experiencing heat waves with temperatures consistently exceeding 40 degrees Celsius.

The decree was issued a day after a glacial avalanche killed at least seven people in northern Italy. The glacial collapse has been attributed to high temperatures.

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