Rescuers warned on Monday that hope of finding survivors after the avalanche was fading It started with the collapse of the Italian glacier at least seven people died during the heat wave.
Authorities said they did not know how many climbers were killed when a glacier gave way on Sunday on Marmolada, the highest mountain in Italy’s Dolomites. Its collapse sent ice and rock hurling down the slope at 185 miles per hour, according to Trento provincial governor Maurizio Fugatti.
On Monday, rescuers armed with thermal drones searched for the body temperature of potential survivors trapped in the ice. Giorgio Gajer, head of the Regional Alpine Rescue Service, told the AGI news agency that the chances of finding additional survivors are now “nothing” because so much time has passed since the deadly avalanche.
Rescuer Gino Comelli, speaking at the exit after six bodies were pulled from the mountain, said those found were “devastated” by the tragedy.
The death toll rose as search and rescue missions continued in Marmolada on Monday. Fugatti confirmed seven deaths According to AGI, eight people were injured and at least 14 were missing in the afternoon. Two of the injured hikers were said to be in critical condition, and only three of the dead could be immediately identified. It was not yet clear how many people were trapped under the avalanche missing persons are reported it continued to pour throughout the day.
The disaster came a day after a record high temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded at the top of the glacier, the largest in the Italian Alps.
Experts say the glacier has weakened over decades due to global warming.
Michela Canova, a spokeswoman for the Alpine Rescue Service, told AFP that an “avalanche of snow, ice and rock” hit the access road while there were several roped parties, “some of which were swept away.”
A spokesman for the province of Trento said people were still being reported missing.
Sandro Raimondi, Trento’s chief prosecutor, was quoted by Corriere della Sera as saying he feared the death toll “could double, if not triple” based on the number of cars left unattended in a parking lot near the mountain.
But Canova urged caution, saying the total number of climbers involved was “not yet known”. It was reported that eight people were injured at that time.
The bodies removed from the ice and rock were taken to the village of Canazei, where Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi was staying. he traveled to talk about the avalanche on monday. Helicopters and sniffer dogs were halted as night fell and fears the glacier might still be unstable.
“It’s difficult for rescuers who are in danger,” Canazei mayor Giovanni Bernard told AFP.
Avalanche footage from a nearby shelter shows snow and rocks flying down the mountainside.
“It’s a miracle that we’re alive,” engineer Stefano Dal Moro, who was hiking with his Israeli partner, told the Corriere della Sera newspaper. “There was a faint sound, and then that sea of ice came down. It’s useless to run, you can only pray it doesn’t get in your way. We crouched down and hugged each other tightly as the ice passed.”
Massimo Frezzotti, a science professor at Rome’s Tre University, told AFP that the spill was caused by unusually warm weather linked to global warming, which saw precipitation drop by 40-50% during the dry winter.
“The current conditions of the glacier correspond to mid-August, not early July.
Renato Colucci, a glacier expert, told AGI that the phenomenon was “bound to repeat itself” because “temperatures high up in the Alps have been well above normal values for weeks”.
He added that the recent warm temperatures had produced large amounts of water from the melting glacier that had accumulated at the base of the ice block, causing it to break up.
The public prosecutor’s office of Trento has started an investigation to determine the causes of the tragedy.
The IPCC said that glaciers in Scandinavia, Central Europe and the Caucasus could lose 60-80% of their mass by the end of the century.
Leave a Comment