Heatwave in Italy leads to discovery of WW2 bomb in drought-stricken river | World | News

The device weighed 450kg (1000lb) and 3,000 people living nearby were asked to evacuate the area.

Borgo Virgilio’s mayor Francesco Aporti told Reuters: “At first, some of the inhabitants said they would not move, but in the last few days, we think we have persuaded everyone.”

Mr Aporti added that without the cooperation of the local people the operation would not have been able to go ahead.

Airspace around the area was closed off and traffic on the river, rail and road was halted.

Colonel Marco Nasi said: “The bomb was found by fishermen on the bank of the River Po due to a decrease in water levels caused by drought.”

Bomb disposal engineers removed the fuse from the American device, which the army said contained 240 kg (530lb) of explosive.

The bomb squad were then escorted by the police to a quarry in Medole municipality about 45 km (30 miles) away, where the device was destroyed.

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It is thought climate change is contributing significantly to the hot weather and low rainfall across winter and spring which have led to the drought.

The Po is the longest river in Italy and one-third of the food produced in the country comes from the regions around it.

The melting of Alpine glaciers also caused an avalanche in the Dolomites which killed at least seven hikers.

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