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Quake destroys €250 mn worth cheese

Sunday's quake in Italy destroyed more than 300,000 wheels of Parmesan,Grana Padano.

Written by Agencies | Rome | Published: May 21, 2012 11:08:49 am

Sunday’s quake in northeastern Italy destroyed more than 300,000 wheels of Parmesan and Grana Padano,a similar cheese,with an estimated value of more than 250 million euros,an industry official said.

“The earthquake was very strong and heavily damaged the structures of many warehouses as well as thousands of tonnes” of the two cheeses,said Stefano Berni,head of a consortium that protects the Grana Padano designation.

“It’s a very heavy loss,but there have been no casualties,which is a great relief at this worrying time,” he told the ANSA news agency.

An initial estimate of 250 million euros (USD 320 million) is “very conservative,” Berni said,adding that he hoped no further tremors would “further aggravate the state of the already highly damaged and fragile structures.”

A wheel of the cheese can weigh up to 40 kilogrammes.

A powerful earthquake shook Italy’s industrial and densely populated northeast early on Sunday,killing at least six people,felling homes and factories and toppling church steeples.

Emergency services said dozens had been injured in the magnitude 6.0 quake,which struck in the middle of the night,sending thousands of people running into the streets in towns and cities across the Emilia Romagna region.

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