ANDREA BERNARDI via Getty Images
ENVIRONMENT – The municipality of Courmayeur, in the Italian Alps, announced this Sunday August 9 “the lifting of all security measures” adopted to face the risk of the collapse of a large block of the Planpincieux glacier, where the situation returned to The normality.
The latest information collected about the glacier that “confirmed a return to the usual risk parameters”, has lifted the closure of the Val Ferret valley (below the glacier), ordered last Wednesday, announced the city council in a press release.
Vehicle traffic in the small valley is authorized again, as well as the return home of the fifteen evacuated residents.
The “Milan Cathedral” said to have collapsed
A volume of ice estimated at 500,000 cubic meters – the “size of Milan Cathedral” – threatened to collapse, according to local authorities, who had ordered a 72-hour evacuation of a “red zone” on Wednesday night. a few hundred meters wide below, in a part of the valley sparsely inhabited and especially frequented by hikers this summer season.
In Val d’Aosta, the small valley of Val Ferret is close to the famous town of Courmayeur and the entrance to the Mont Blanc tunnel, between France and Italy. However, the area in question was located at least four kilometers from the tunnel entrance, and even more so from Courmayeur, where the situation has remained perfectly normal in recent days.
Already threats of collapse in the past
“The evacuation was necessary and unavoidable due to the risk of ice,” the Courmayeur city council reiterated on Sunday. The alert had aroused the incomprehension of the inhabitants and the criticism of many tourism professionals, concerned about the repercussions on their activity that are barely recovering from the covid-19 epidemic.
The threat of the collapse of the glaciers ”was located and affected a small part of the territory (of the municipality), while in the rest of this same territory, the valleys and the municipality of Courmayeur, tourist activity developed with absolute normality. “The city council stressed, lamenting in passing” the alarmist tone “of certain media.
In September and October 2019, the Planpincieux glacier had already threatened to partially collapse, in a portion of almost 250,000 cubic meters. Since then, surveillance measures have been put in place.
See also in the HuffPost: In Italy, a pink algae accelerates the melting of a glacier