The WW2 bomb was discovered in the drought-stricken waters of the Po River in Italy According to Reuters


© Reuters. Members of the Italian military remove a World War II bomb discovered in the dry Po River, which is suffering its worst drought in 70 years, in Borgo Virgilio, Italy, Aug. 2022. REUTERS / Flavio Lo Scalzo


By Oriana Boselli

BORGO VIRGILIO, Italy (Reuters) – Heat waves sweeping through Europe this summer have not only brought record-high temperatures and scorched fields: arid waters in Italy’s Po River are running to lows to the point of discovering a sinking bomb during World War II.

Military experts liberated and carried out a controlled explosion Sunday of a 450-kilogram (1,000-pound) bomb, discovered on July 25 near the northern village of Borgo Virgilio, near City of Mantua.

“The bomb was found by fishermen on the banks of the Po River due to a drop in water levels due to drought,” Colonel Marco Nasi said.

Bomb disposal is not easy.

About 3,000 people living nearby were evacuated for the disposal operation, the military said. The area’s airspace was closed and navigation along that stretch of waterway as well as nearby rail and road traffic was halted.

“At first some residents said they wouldn’t move, but over the last few days we think we’ve convinced everyone,” added Borgo Virgilio’s mayor, Francesco Aporti. that if people refuse to go, operations will be carried out. pause.

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

The bomb squad, escorted by police, then moved the equipment to a quarry in the city of Medole, about 45 kilometers (30 miles) away, where it was destroyed.

Last month, Italy declared a state of emergency for the areas around the Po River, the country’s longest river. It accounts for about a third of Italy’s agricultural output and is suffering its worst drought in 70 years.

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