Giant ice chunk from glacier sparks forces evacuations
Dozens of people have been evacuated from a valley in northern Italy amid fears that a section of ice the size of a football field could collapse from a Mount Blanc glacier.
About 75 people, including 60 tourists, have left the Ferret Valley in the Alpine region of Valle d'Aosta.
Stefano Miserocchi, the mayor of Courmayeur, also closed a main road in the valley, according to the websites of the affected villages.
At a press conference on Friday, Valerio Segor, the region's director of natural risk management, said the evacuation could not be delayed.
"The measure could not be postponed following a survey of the glacier of Planpincieux that shows a section of 500,000 square meters of ice that could rapidly detach from the rock," Segor said.
Located in the Mont Blanc massif, the glacier has been under surveillance since 2012 because of the effects of climate change, according to Fabrizio Troilo, from the Montagna Sicura (Secure Mountain) Foundation, which is charged with monitoring the glacier.
The glacier is classified as a "temperate" one as opposed to "cold" because it has water between the mass of ice and mountain.