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Italy: Tens of thousands of jobs lost after 14 people were killed in storms

Italy: Tens of thousands of jobs lost after 14 people were killed in storms

Agriculture and animal husbandry are particularly affected in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. The tourist areas on the Adriatic Sea have decreased slightly.

After floods and landslides caused by heavy rain kill at least 14 people, the Adriatic region of northern Italy in Emilia-Romagna is investigating the damage. Tens of thousands of residents of the affected areas have had to leave their homes, many staying in parishes and sports halls. 650 people were evacuated from the flooded areas by helicopter and plane.

Nearly two dozen rivers burst their banks in the region from Tuesday to Wednesday, 36 towns and communities were submerged, and 48 local governments reported landslides. Agriculture and animal husbandry are particularly affected. The Coldiretti Agricultural Association reported that 5,000 agricultural businesses were affected by the severe storms, and 50,000 jobs in the fields were at risk.

Confagricoltura speaks of damages of up to 6,000 euros per hectare for arable crops and 32,000 euros per hectare for fruit, wine and olive groves, including crop failure and replanting costs. Emilia-Romagna is one of the Italian regions with the strongest agricultural production. A significant part of the production is exported abroad.

A man wading in high water in Lugou village.Reuters

Tourism is a major source of income

Tourism is also affected by storms, but to a lesser extent than agriculture. “The only positive news in this tragedy is that the hotel complexes and the coast suffered less damage than the inland areas,” Tourism Minister Daniela Santanche said, according to the media. The Federbalneari Association estimated the damage to the beach operators at six million euros.

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Tourism is the main source of income in the region, and summer arrivals are expected to be as high as in the golden days before the pandemic. The Riviera alone – Rimini, Riccione, Milano Marittima, to name a few of the most famous places – recorded no less than 42 million stays in 2022 with over seven million tourists. stressed Patricia Reinaldes, spokeswoman for Hoteliers “Association. Federalberghi” in Rimini.

The government of Prime Minister Georgia Meloni wants to help the Emilia-Romagna region. She called for a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday (May 23) to ease financial aid to the areas affected by the emergency. Environment Minister Gilberto Becchetto Frattin announced that the government will declare a state of emergency for Emilia-Romagna and the Marche region. This is intended to release funds more quickly and avoid bureaucratic hurdles. The Italian government also wants to ask the EU Commission for access to the European Disaster Solidarity Fund.