Italy Orders Evacuations And Road Closures As Mont Blanc Glacier Risks Collapse


The Mayor of the town of Courmayeur said the Global warming boost was changing the mountain.

Since 2013, authorities have been closely observing the Planpincieux glacier in order to determine the frequency with which ice is melting.

Courmayeur mayor Stefano Miserocchi closed down a mountain road and banned access to part of the Val Ferret, a popular hiking area outside of town on the southern side of the Mont Blanc massif.

A block of 250,000 cubic metres of ice could break away from the Planpincieux glacier, on the Grandes Jorasses mountain of the Mont Blanc massif, officials said.

However specialists have stated quarter of one million cubic metres of ice are liable to breaking away from the Planpincieux glacier.

Moreno Vignolini, a press officer for civic authorities in Courmayeur, said: "With the strong heat of this summer, there was, between August and the first half of September, an acceleration of the melting of the glacier, at an average rhythm of 35 centimetres by day, up to peaks of 50 or 60 cm on certain days".

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte alerted world leaders to risk of the glacier's collapse during his address Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly in NY, telling them "it is an alarm that we can not be indifferent to".

Below the glacier, he said, "there are no homes, only a few unoccupied chalets". The council of Courmayeur has closed a highway to protect road users from any potential icy landslides. "It's an alarm that can not leave us indifferent". The week kicked off with teen climate activist Greta Thunberg's passionate call for world leaders to take significant action on climate change. But smaller glaciers, like those in the Alps, could lose up to 80% of their ice by the year 2100 in a worst-case scenario. "It must shake us all and mobilize us".

A examine by Swiss researchers launched earlier this month urged that the Aletsch glacier - the most important within the Alps - may disappear utterly by the tip of the century if nothing is completed to fight local weather change.

The glaciers in the Alps provide vital water and meet the hydroelectric needs of the region and play a key role in tourism. Under a stronger global warming model, the researchers, based in Switzerland, projected that the Alps's glaciers would disappear nearly entirely by 2100.