The calving of a glacier in the Italian Alps leaves at least 6 dead

The calving of a glacier in the Italian Alps leaves at least 6 dead

He also indicated that there were eight wounded, but that the balance “was still provisional.” Two of them were transferred to the hospital in Belluno, another to Treviso and five to Trento, without offering more details about the nationality of the victims.

The head of civil protection in the province of Veneto, Gianpaolo Bottacin, said on his Facebook account that there were also “disappeared”.

In turn, the head of government, Mario Draghi, sent a message on Twitter “his most sincere condolences” to the families of the victims.

Several helicopters are involved in the rescue and surveillance operations, but the operations were suspended overnight and will resume on Monday morning.

The detachment “is a consequence of the current weather conditions, that is, an episode of early heat that coincides with the problem of global warming,” Professor Massimo Frezzotti, from the science department of the University of Rome 3, told AFP.

“From what we can see in the images, the collapse has been important. You can see that there is a lot of water because the melting has accelerated in the Alps. We have had an extremely dry winter, with a rainfall deficit of 40 to 50% The current glacier conditions are characteristic of mid-August, not early July,” the researcher said.

According to the spokeswoman for the emergency services, “an avalanche of snow, ice and rock reached the access road when several groups of climbers were there, some of whom were dragged. “The number of affected climbers is still unknown,” she added. .

According to the civil protection department of the Veneto region in northeastern Italy, “all alpine protection teams in the area have been mobilized.”

snow and rock

Renato Colucci, a glacier specialist quoted by the Italian agency AGI, assures that the phenomenon will be repeated, since for weeks, the temperatures in the heights of the Alps have been well above the usual indicators.

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Images recorded from a shelter show how snow and rock begin to fall from the mountain. Other images show the avalanche dragging everything in its path.

In the images transmitted by the alpine rescue service, rescuers can be seen working near the place of the detachment. Helicopters were helping to transport the victims through the valley to the town of Canazei, not far from where the cable car that leads to the top of the glacier leaves.

The rescuers’ job was especially difficult, as they had to extract the bodies from the ice and rock on which they lay. A cell of psychologists was also activated to help the relatives of the victims.

In turn, the Trento prosecutor’s office opened an investigation to determine the causes of the tragedy.

The Marmolada glacier is the largest glacier in the Dolomites, in the eastern Alps. Located in the province of Trento, it gives birth to the Avisio River and overlooks Lake Fedaia.

According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on March 1, melting ice and snow is one of the top ten threats caused by global warming, which will disrupt ecosystems and threaten some infrastructure.

According to the IPCC, the glaciers of the Scandinavian countries, Central Europe and the Caucasus could lose between 60 and 80% of their mass by the end of the century.

The traditional life of peoples such as the Lapland Sami, who are dedicated to reindeer herding, is already being disrupted.

In Canada and Russia, thawing permafrost — the permanently frozen layer of ground — is hampering economic activities.

With information from AFP.