"A first evaluation shows that at least 5,000 crop farms suffered damage from the floods in Emilia Romagna in recent days. The total damage amounts to billions," said Ettore Prandini, national president of the Italian trade association Coldiretti.
Meteorologist Pierluigi Randi speaks of about 7,000 km2 of flooded area in the region. The data from the disaster that hit the Emilia Romagna region, from the province of Modena to the province of Rimini, are impressive.
Damage to Gianluca Balzani's pear orchard
"My peach orchard was completely destroyed by the force of the water from the River Ronco in Fratta Terme, in the province of Forlì-Cesena," said grower Gianluca Balzani. "The pear orchard is partially damaged. All of us producers are at a loss. Of course, we're going to do everything in our power to restore our growing facilities, but the storm has been truly catastrophic. Without help from the government, we won't get there."
The damage in the hills is also extensive. Manuele Malavolti, a kiwi grower in Modigliana (Forlì-Cesena), is devastated. "Our town is practically isolated. I can't even muster up the courage to go see the damage to my farm, which is right down the road. But I already know it will be enormous because the river runs next to my plots. There are landslides everywhere, the roads have been destroyed, and some bridges have been swept away by the water."
In Cesena, the hardest hit growing area is between the hamlets of Ronta and Bagnile. Quinto Fantini lives not far from the Savio River, and here the water was up to 2 meters high. All nearby orchards were underwater.