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Farmers' winter plans for cattle disrupted by Italy earthquake


Italy

Farmers' winter plans for cattle disrupted by Italy earthquake

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A new aftershock struck central Italy on Tuesday morning, two days after the strongest earthquake in decades shook the region.

The tremor of magnitude 4.8 hit Maceratese province to the northeast.

The weekend’s quake wrecked much of historic towns such as Norcia. It destroyed a cemetery in the city of Campi, pushing coffins out of their resting places.

In the mountains farmers who were cut off from their cattle have been trying to relocate their herds.

Sunday’s earthquake meant they were unable to check on their cows’ whereabouts.

“We’ve been unable to come over here for the last two days because the road was blocked,” Angelo Stazzo, a farmer from Castelsantangelo, told AP.

Now he says damaged infrastructure threatens the farmer’s plans for the winter.

“We usually settle the cattle in the mountain in May, up until November. This year, with this situation we must take them down before that, so we are going to recover the cattle and bring them down. Then, if they (the government) provide a shed we can give the cows shelter, otherwise we have no solution for the winter,” he said.

The area is still coping with the aftermath of an earthquake in August that killed nearly 300 people.

The farmers are living in caravans without electricity or hot water; their homes were badly damaged in the first wave of earthquakes in August.

Some 3,000 farms are said to be in danger across central Italy, in the regions of Lazio, Marche, Umbria and Abruzzo. More than 90 percent of the farms are family holdings, according to Coldiretti – the Italian agricultural association.

“It’s time to go home now. Home? There is no home now,” Stazzo said.

For now the farmers are thankful to have been reunited with their prized possessions, and that they are unharmed.

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