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Sunday 20 October 2019

Radar installed to monitor fast-moving Mont Blanc glacier

The system provides constant data, compared with satellite photo monitoring which requires clear skies and six to 12 days to get comparative images.

The Planpincieux glacier is seen from Val Ferret, a hiking area on the south side of Mont Blanc, near Courmayeur, northern Italy (Antonio Calanni/AP)
The Planpincieux glacier is seen from Val Ferret, a hiking area on the south side of Mont Blanc, near Courmayeur, northern Italy (Antonio Calanni/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Authorities have installed a radar system to better monitor a massive area of a fast-moving glacier on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif that risks breaking off and striking a tourist valley.

The radar system installed on Thursday provides constant data on movements of even millimetres.

That compares with the satellite photo monitoring already in place, which requires clear skies and between six and 12 days to get comparative images.

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A box containing a radar is carried by helicopter to the Planpincieux glacier (Antonio Calanni/AP)

The mayor of Courmayeur Stevano Miserocchi has closed a road due to the risk that a 250,000-cubic-metre mass of the Planpincieux glacier could collapse in the Val Ferret, a popular hiking area nearby.

The alarm was sounded after movements of up to 50cm (20in) a day were recorded.

Higher-than-usual summer temperatures had formed a deep fissure.

PA Media

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