Not less than six individuals died and eight had been injured after a glacial boulder collapsed within the Italian Alps on Sunday, mentioned Walter Milan, a spokesman for Italy’s Nationwide Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps.
A deluge of snow, ice and rock on the Marmolada mountain vary, the very best of the Dolomites, inundated a well-liked summit route the place a number of alpinists had been rope climbing, the Veneto Area Emergency Service mentioned on Twitter.
The names and nationalities of the victims aren’t but recognized, Milan mentioned. In response to reviews, a number of helicopters had been on the scene. Eighteen individuals had been evacuated, and rescue employees checked parked automobiles to see if anybody was nonetheless lacking.
Milan mentioned it was the most important accident of its type on the mountain in many years. The excessive temperatures of the previous few days could have helped pace up the melting of the ice, he mentioned, including that it’s a complicated phenomenon involving many elements.
In current days, Milan mentioned, the mountain has seen record-breaking temperatures. The accident occurred as a heatwave scorched elements of Europe for a number of weeks.
The consequences of world warming on the Marmolada Glacier, referred to as the Queen of the Dolomites, have been unfolding for years, with the glacier shrinking quickly.
From 2004 to 2015, the glacier’s quantity shrank by 30 %, in keeping with a 2019 research by Italy’s Nationwide Analysis Council and worldwide universities. If the pattern continues, the glacier will disappear within the subsequent 25 to 30 years, the analysis predicts .
A couple of days earlier than the accident, Carlo Budel, the hut warden on the high of the glacier, posted a video of it on Fb and mentioned the glacier was in unhealthy form. “Poor Marmolada Glacier,” he wrote within the caption. “This 12 months, this glacier goes to take a success like that.”