Western Europe’s tallest peak is breaking away. Experts warn that over 250,000 cubic metres (66,043,013 gallons!) of ice are in danger of breaking away from the Planpincieux glacier on the Grandes Jorasses peak.
Mount Blanc has eleven peaks across France and Italy , most of which are over 4000 meters (13123 feet) in height.
The breakage is caused due to the unusual collapsing of the ice. The Italian authorities have cordoned off areas that are at risk of being covered by the melting Planpincieux glacier.
The meltdown is expected to be so massive that it can cover two football fields and a height of eight storeys. According to a report by the Valle d’Aosta regional government and the Italy-based nonprofit Fondazione Montagna Sicura, the glacier is in continuous movement of 20 to 24 inches (50 to 60 centimeters) on daily basis.
Such Movements could cause the 8.8 million cubic avalanches as reported by the city of Courmayeur in Italy. These adverse effects have been attributed to global warming, which in the last few years has been destroying highest peaks around the world.
Evacuations and other safety measures have been put in place to avoid major catastrophic disasters. The warnings come in the death anniversary of an elderly couple that was swept in the same area in 2018. Furthermore, early in 2019 , massive evacuations had to be conducted after a hefty avalanche missed many homes by a whisker.
Sadly enough, this in not the first time the area has experienced such accidents.In 1965, two million cubic metres of ice and debris fell from the Allalin glacier in the Swiss canton of Valais, killing 88 workers at the Mattmark dam construction site below. Five years later, an earthquake triggered the collapse of an unstable glacier in Peru, burying the town of Yungay and killing more than 20,000 people. In 1892, 200,000 cubic metres of water and ice that had collected in a cavity on the Tête-Rousse glacier in France burst through the ice, triggering a flood that cost 175 lives.
The Safe Mountain Foundation, which monitors over 180 glaciers in the region warn that the trend may continue as the Alpine glaciers are expected to shed half their ice weight by the year 2050.
Despite the depressing and sad news, there is a glimmer of hope as many people are getting in the action to demonstrate against climate change. Many of whom have been inspired by Greta Thunberg, matched in their millions to protest against the delicate nature of the glaciers.