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Glacier collapses in Italian Alps, killing at least six

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A handout photo from Alpine rescue services shows where an ice glacier collapsed on Marmolada mountain, Italy, July 3, 2022. (Reuters photo)

Parts of a mountain glacier collapsed in the Italian Alps on Sunday amid record temperatures, local authorities said, killing at least six people and injuring eight.

The Trento provincial government said rescue operations were in progress after a large "ice avalanche" involving hikers, adding that there was likely to be a "heavy toll".

The avalanche took place on the Marmolada, which at more than 3,300 meters is the highest mountain in the Dolomites, a range in the eastern Italian Alps straddling the regions of Trento and Veneto.

Injured people were taken to hospitals in the nearby towns of Belluno, Treviso, Trento, and Bolzano, said the president of Veneto, Luca Zaia.

The huge mass of ice collapsed close to Punta Rocca, on the route usually used by hikers and climbers to reach the summit, the Alpine rescue unit said.

"Fortunately the weather conditions are good but the danger is that there could further collapse," a spokesperson said.

Punta Rocca summit is seen after parts of the Marmolada glacier collapsed in the Italian Alps amid record temperatures, killing at least six people and injuring several, at Marmolada ridge, Italy, July 4, 2022. (Reuters)

Helicopters and dogs were being used to try to find survivors.

An early summer heatwave in Italy saw temperatures on the Marmolada touch 10 degrees Celsius (50 Fahrenheit) on Saturday, Zaia said.

Rising average temperatures have caused the Marmolada glacier, like many others around the world, to shrink steadily over recent decades.

(Source: Reuters)


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