Friday 22 September 2017

Swiss town unscathed as front edge of glacier breaks off

The glacial ice avalanche of the Trift glacier in Saas-Grund, Valais, Switzerland (Dominic Steinmann/Keystone via AP)
The glacial ice avalanche of the Trift glacier in Saas-Grund, Valais, Switzerland (Dominic Steinmann/Keystone via AP)

The last remaining unstable part of a glacier in the Swiss Alps has sheared off on to a glacier below without hitting a nearby town or hurting anyone, police said.

Authorities evacuated some 220 people in the southern town of Saas-Grund on Saturday after radar surveillance of the Trift glacier showed its snout was moving fast.

Early on Sunday, more than two-thirds of the glacier's front edge - which originally measured some 500,000 cubic metres (17.6 million cubic feet) - collapsed on to another glacier.

Police allowed residents to return home later on Sunday.

Valais canton (state) police said on Monday the remainder of the glacier's front edge broke off overnight and the area was reopened to walkers.

Authorities had been keeping a close eye on the ice, which has been considered unstable for nearly three years.

AP

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