The glacier of the Marmolada, nicknamed “the queen of the Dolomites”.
The collapse of part of the Marmolada glacier, the largest in the Italian Alps, is well linked to the global warming, the Italian Prime Minister confirmed on Monday the day after the disaster which left at least seven people dead and eight injured.
Fourteen people are also reported missing by their relatives, but whether they were there when the glacier broke is unconfirmed. Among the injured, two Germans, a 67-year-old man and a 58-year-old woman, are still in serious condition.
The disaster, which occurred the day after a record temperature of 10°C at the top of the glacier, in the midst of an early heat wave on the Italian peninsula, is undoubtedly linked to the deterioration of the environment and the climatic situation, said Monday on the spot the first Minister of Italy Mario Draghi.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi expressed his support for the families of the victims.
Rescuers deployed drones equipped with thermal cameras, hoping to locate any survivors in the mass of ice and crumbling rocks, the mayor of the locality of Canazei, Giovanni Bernard, told AFP. These are dangerous conditions for rescuers who cannot progress on foot.
The chances of finding survivors are almost zero, the region's high mountain rescue service manager, Giorgio Gajer, told Italian agency AGI.
J& I was on the terrace of the refuge, I heard a rumble, I turned to my left and saw a mass of ice coming down from the mountain, then a large cloud of dust. It lasted two or three minutes and the ice cloud dissolved, Luca Medici, 54, a ski instructor living in Canazei, told AFP.
Only three of the seven victims have been identified, but their nationalities have not been released by authorities.
The glacier s' collapsed near the locality of Punta Rocca, along the route normally taken to reach its summit.
The tragedy is the consequence of the current meteorological conditions, that is to say an episode of early heat which coincides with the problem of global warming, explained to AFP Professor Massimo Frezzotti, of the Department of Sciences. from Roma Tre University.
The melting has accelerated in the Alps. We had an extremely arid winter, with a rainfall deficit of 40-50%. Current glacier conditions are for mid-August, not early July, according to the researcher.
Due to these very high temperatures, an accumulation of water unfortunately formed under the glacier, which caused the collapse, Paolo Talmon, 56, told AFP. owner of Marmolada Glacier Inn. I've lived here for 50 years and this is the first time I've seen this.
Footage filmed from a shelter near the disaster shows the debris of the glacier mixed with rocks hurtling down the slopes of the mountain with a crashing noise at 300 km/h, according to local authorities. Other images taken by tourists on their mobile phones show the grayish tongue of the avalanche from afar, sweeping away everything in its path, leaving no chance for climbers who were in its path.
On images transmitted by the Alpine rescue, we can see the rescuers working near the scene of the disaster, overflown by helicopters to transport the victims in the valley to the village of Canazei, not far from the place from where the cable car that leads to the top of the glacier starts.
According to the report of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on the Evolution of the (IPCC) published on March 1, melting ice and snow is one of the ten major threats caused by global warming, disrupting ecosystems and threatening certain infrastructures.
The IPCC indicates that glaciers in Scandinavia, central Europe and the Caucasus could lose 60 to 80% of their mass by the end of the century.