An earthquake struck the Italian flatlands of Bologna last week, killing seven people and injuring numerous others. While the structural damage to the area is of major concern, there is a unique, unexpected victim in the region's Parmesan cheese producers.
Over 300,000 wheels of ageing cheese toppled over during the quake. The damaged wheels represent roughly 10% of the region's annual Parmesan cheese production, a major source of industry and revenue for the area. Three million wheels of Parmesan cheese are sold each year, totaling around two billion Euro.
The wheels need to age in delicate environmental conditions before they can be sold for consumption. If the wheels are cracked they have a greater possibility to house mold and are then considered inedible and must be destroyed.
The Italian government has declared the quake-struck region a state of emergency and is currently determining the best way to offer aid to farmers and local businesses in the area.
Photo credit AP