A world war II shipwreck has been discovered amid a huge drought that impacted Italy''s largest river.
The Po River runs 405 miles (651.8 km) from the Cottian Alps to dump into the Adriatic Sea. It has had its worst drought in 70 years, which has resulted in a decades-old sunken vessel to resurface.
The Zibello, a 160-foot (48.8-meter) barge that destroyed wood in World War II and sank in 1943, is often hidden beneath the Po''s waters, according to reports. The river''s water levels are now so low that it is still visible to spectators.
(Piero Cruciatti/AFP/Getty Images)
"It''s the first time that we can see this barge," Raffaele Vezzali, an amateur cyclist, told the AP from a park near the village of Gualtieri.
With his drone, Alessio Bonin captured photographs of the wreckage. He toldThe Guardianit was a sad sight.
"In recent years, you could see the bow of the boat, so we knew it was there, but to see the vessel so exposed in March, when it was actually still winter, was very dramatic," Bonin said. "I''ve never seen such a drought at this time of year our main concern was our river flooding, now we worry about it disappearing."
On the now exposed sunk ship, a heron stands. (Piero Cruciatti/AFP/Getty Images)
Climate warming has fueled the drought. Northern Italy hasn''t seen rain in more than 110 days, snowfall was down 70 percent this year, and above-average temperatures are melting snow and glaciers on the surrounding Alps, robbing the Po basin for summer.
Meuccio Berselli, the secretary general of the Po River Basin Authority, told the AP that in one riverside village called Boretto, river flow is usually at a rate of 476,000 gallons per second. Now, it''s only 80,000 gallons per second.
The drought puts drinking water, irrigation for agriculture in Italy''s most intensively farmed area, and hydroelectric power facilities for energy production in jeopardy.
This article was originally published by Business Insider.
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