Glacier Collapse on Mont Blanc Threatens
8th August 2020
Last modified on May 14th, 2021
An ice block of 500,000 cubic metres is threatening to fall. Some people have been evacuated from their homes and hotels on the Italian side of the mountain. Footpaths and areas of the mountain have been sealed off.
The ice is from the Planpincieux glacier, above the ski resort of Courmayeur in the Aosta Valley in Italy.
Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in western Europe and is on the border with France and Italy
The authorities ordered the evacuation of a “red zone” at the base of the slope for at least 72 hours.
75 people have been moved.
Roads and hiking trails have been closed.
It was “urgent and vital” to move people directly in the path of a potential ice fall, Courmayeur mayor Stefano Miserocchi said, highlighting an “elevated state of alert”.
The ice is situated at 2,600m to 2,800m.
A recent heatwave has raised concerns and the temperatures are set to remain high over the coming days.
One official has described the ice as “the size of Milan cathedral or a football pitch covered in ice 80m thick”.
Last year another section of ice on the glacier threatened to collapse as we reported at the time.
A study last year by Swiss scientists found that Alpine glaciers could shrink by up to 90% this century.
The glaciers in Europe are now shrinking at an increasingly alarming rate as rising temperatures take their toll.