İrem UZUN -TDO- A melting glacier as large as a cathedral is at risk of breaking apart due to a heatwave, forcing the evacuation of part of an Italian alpine valley. It was said that the potential for collapse started again in April but has increased in recent weeks, with the section of ice going through a very rapid evolution in the last 15 days.
As Reuters reports, the alarm was raised on Wednesday afternoon when experts in helicopters realized that the Planpincieux glacier, at an altitude of about 2,800 metres in the Ferret Valley in the Mont Blanc massif, was slipping dangerously. A heatwave has created a layer of water under the glacier, which is made up of about 500 cubic metres of ice making it more prone to a break.
At a press conference on Friday, Valerio Segor, the region's director of natural risk management, said the evacuation could not be delayed. "The measure could not be postponed following a survey of the glacier of Planpincieux that shows a section of 500,000 square meters of ice that could rapidly detach from the rock," Segor said. CNN reported that about 75 people, including 60 tourists, have left the Ferret Valley in the Alpine region of Valle d'Aosta. Stefano Miserocchi, the mayor of Courmayeur, also closed a main road in the valley late Thursday, according to the websites of the affected villages.