Local

Alpine glacier chunk detaches, killing at least 6 hikers

A large chunk of an Alpine glacier broke off Sunday and roared off a mountain in Italy, sending ice, snow and rock pelting hikers on a popular summit trail, killing at least six and injuring nine, authorities said, warning that the toll could to climb.A local Civil Protection official, Gianpaolo Bottacin, was quoted by the Italian news agency ANSA as providing the tally, but stressed that the situation was “evolving” and that there may be as many as 15 people missing. Late in the evening, the National Alpine and Cave Rescue Corps posted a phone number on Twitter for family or friends to call in case of “failure to return from possible excursions” to the glacier. Rescuers were checking license plates in the parking lot as part of checks to determine how many people might be missing, a process that could take hours, corps spokesman Walter Milan told The Associated Press by phone. The glacier, in the Marmolada range, is the largest in the Dolomites mountains in northeastern Italy. and people ski there in the winter. But the glacier has been melting rapidly in recent years. Experts at Italy’s state-run research center CNR, which has a polar science institute, say the glacier will no longer exist in the next 25-30 years, and much of its volume is The Mediterranean Basin , shared by southern Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa, has been labeled by UN experts as a “climate change hot spot”, likely to suffer heat waves and water shortages, among other consequences. dead (people) and huge pieces of ice, rock,” exhausted rescuer Luigi Felicetti told Italian state television. The nationalities or ages of the dead were not immediately available, Milan said. Of the survivors who were treated, two were in critical condition, authorities said. The fast-moving avalanche “came down with a roar that could be heard from a great distance,” local online media website ildolomiti.it reported. Temporarily, a search by helicopter and dogs for other victims or missing people was halted for the night while rescuers assessed the risk of more of the glacier breaking off, Walter Cainelli said on state television after carrying out a rescue mission with a search dog. Rescuers said blocks of ice kept falling. In the early afternoon, a light rain began to fall. The SUEM dispatch service, which is based in the nearby Veneto region, said 18 people who were above the area where the ice hit would be evacuated by the Alpine rescue corps. Some of those hiking in the area where the avalanche passed were tied with ropes, according to local emergency services. But Milan said some of the hikers may be able to descend on their own, including by using the summit cable car. . SUEM said the avalanche consisted of a “pour of snow, ice and rock”. The detached portion is known as a serac, or ice peak. Called the “Queen of the Dolomites”, Marmolada rises to around 3,300 meters (about 11,000 feet) and is the highest of the 18 peaks in this eastern region of the Italian Alps. it offers stunning views of other peaks of the Alps. The Alpine Rescue Service said in a tweet that the section was interrupted near Punta Rocca (Rock Point), “along the route normally used to reach the summit.” It was not immediately clear what caused the section of ice to break off and rush down the slope of the summit. But the intense heat wave that has hit Italy since late June appeared to be a possible factor “These days’ temperatures clearly had an effect” on the partial collapse of the glacier, Maurizio Fugatti, president of Trento province, which borders Italy, told Sky TG24 Marmolada. But Milan stressed that the high heat, which has soared unusually above 10 C (50 F) on top of Marmolada in recent days, was only one possible factor in Sunday’s tragedy. “There are so many factors that could be involved. ,” Milan said. Avalanches are generally unpredictable, he said, and the influence of heat on a glacier “is even more impossible to predict.” In separate comments on Italian state television, Milan called the recent temperatures “extremely hot” for the summit. “It’s clearly something abnormal.” The injured were airlifted to several hospitals in the Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto regions, according to rescue services. As in other natural disasters in Italy, prosecutors opened an investigation into whether any indication of possible wrongdoing connected to the avalanche.

A large chunk of an Alpine glacier broke off Sunday and roared down a mountain in Italy, sending ice, snow and rock pelting hikers on a popular summit trail, killing at least six and injuring nine, authorities said, warning that the toll could to climb.

A local Civil Protection official, Gianpaolo Bottacin, was quoted by Italian news agency ANSA as saying, however, that the situation was “evolving” and that there may be as many as 15 people missing.

Late in the evening, the National Alpine and Cave Rescue Corps posted a phone number on Twitter for family or friends to call in the event of “failure to return from possible excursions” to the glacier.

Rescuers were checking license plates in the parking lot as part of checks to determine how many people might be missing, a process that could take hours, corps spokesman Walter Milan told The Associated Press by phone.

The glacier, in the Marmolada range, is the largest in the Dolomites mountains in northeastern Italy, and people ski there in the winter. But the glacier has been melting rapidly in recent years.

Experts at Italy’s state-run research center CNR, which has a polar science institute, say the glacier will no longer exist in the next 25-30 years and much of its volume has already disappeared.

The Mediterranean basin, shared by southern Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa, has been labeled by UN experts as a “climate change hot spot”, likely to suffer heat waves and water shortages, among other consequences.

“We saw dead (people) and huge pieces of ice, rock,” exhausted rescuer Luigi Felicetti told Italian state television.

The nationalities or ages of the dead were not immediately available, Milan said.

Of the survivors who were hospitalized, two were in serious condition, authorities said.

The fast-moving avalanche “came down with a roar that could be heard a long way off,” local online media site ildolomiti.it reported.

A search by helicopter and dogs for other victims or missing persons was temporarily halted for the night while rescuers assessed the risk of more of the glacier breaking off, Walter Cainelli told state television after conducting a rescue mission with a search dog.

Rescuers said chunks of ice kept falling. Early in the evening a light rain began to fall.

The SUEM dispatch service, which is based in the nearby Veneto region, said 18 people who were above the area where the ice hit would be evacuated by the Alpine rescue corps.

Some of those who made the trip to the area where the avalanche passed were tied together with rope, according to local emergency services.

But Milano said some of the hikers may be able to get down on their own, including by using the summit cable car.

SUEM said the avalanche consisted of a “pour of snow, ice and rock”. The detached portion is known as a serac, or ice peak.

Called the “Queen of the Dolomites”, Marmolada rises to around 3,300 meters (about 11,000 feet) and is the highest of the 18 peaks in this eastern region of the Italian Alps, offering stunning views of other Alpine peaks.

The Alpine Rescue Service said in a tweet that the section was interrupted near Punta Rocca (Rock Point), “along the route normally used to reach the summit”.

It was not immediately clear what caused the chunk of ice to break off and hurtle down the mountainside. But the intense heat wave that has hit Italy since late June loomed as a likely factor.

“The temperatures of these days clearly had an influence” on the partial collapse of the glacier, Maurizio Fugatti, president of the province of Trento, which borders Marmolada, told Sky TG24.

But Milan stressed that the high heat, which has soared unusually above 10 C (50 F) on top of Marmolada in recent days, was only one possible factor in Sunday’s tragedy.

“There are so many factors that could be involved,” Milan said. Avalanches are generally unpredictable, he said, and the effect of heat on a glacier “is even more impossible to predict.”

In separate comments on Italian state television, Milan called the recent temperatures “extremely hot” for the summit. “It’s clearly something out of the ordinary.”

The injured were airlifted to several hospitals in the Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto regions, according to rescue services.

As in other cases of natural disasters in Italy, prosecutors opened an investigation to determine whether there were signs of possible wrongdoing linked to the avalanche.

Alpine glacier chunk detaches, killing at least 6 hikers Source link Alpine glacier chunk detaches, killing at least 6 hikers

Related Articles

Back to top button