A glacier on the side of Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain range, is at risk of collapsing, officials have warned.
The 250,000-cubic-meter Planpinceux glacier has been moving around roughly 19.7 to 23.6 inches each day, prompting Stefano Miserocchi, mayor of the Italian town of Courmayeur, to close a mountain road and restrict access to nearby areas, newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano reported.
“These phenomena once again show how the mountain is going through a period of major change due to climate factors and, therefore, it is particularly vulnerable,” Miserocchi said, as reported by The Local France.
No residents in the town near the mountain range had to be evacuated, but Val Ferrett, an area outside of Courmayeur on the southern side of the mountain range that was popular for hiking, was also blocked as the glacier is at risk of collapsing.
A full announcement detailing the closure was posted by the Secure Mountain Foundation on Tuesday.
While Miserocchi said the glacier posed no threat to residential areas or tourist facilities, mountain huts would be evacuated as a precautionary measure, BBC reported.
Since 2006, scientists say the glacier has been reduced to around 80% of its original size. The glacier has been closely monitored over the last six years, but no “alert system” is in place in regard to the glacier’s movement, officials said.
The precautionary measures come the same week as a report from the United Nations came with a warning of “sweeping and severe” consequences around the world due to climate change.
With News Wire Services