An exceptional drought impacting Italy’s largest river has provoked a World War II-era shipwreck to light.
The Po River runs for 405 miles from the Cottian Alps and opens into the Adriatic Sea. It’s presently facing its worst drought in the last 70 years, which has resulted in a decades-old sunken ship resurfacing.
“It’s the first time that we can see this barge,” amateur cyclist Raffaele Vezzali informed the AP from a park near the village of Gualtieri.
Alessio Bonin clicked photos of the wreckage using his drone. He explained to The Guardian that it was a stunning 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 essentially still winter, was very dramatic,” Bonin said. “I’ve never seen such a drought at this time of year – our main worry used to be our river flooding, now we worry about it disappearing.”
Meuccio Berselli, the secretary-general of the Po River Basin Authority, notified the AP that in one riverside village named Boretto, the river that usually flows measures 476,000 gallons per second. Presently, it’s almost 80,000 gallons per second.
The AP reports that the drought jeopardizes drinking water supplies, irrigation for farming in Italy’s most intensively farmed area, and hydroelectric power plants for energy production.