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Italian resort evacuates due to glacier melting

Italian resort evacuates due to glacier melting
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An Italian valley resort near the Alps was forced to evacuate Friday over fears that a massive glacier could collapse and impact those in its path.

Valerio Segor, the region's director of natural risk management, said Friday the evacuation could not be delayed as 75 people left the Ferret Valley, CNN reported.

"The measure could not be postponed following a survey of the glacier of Planpincieux that shows a section of 500,000 square meters of ice that could rapidly detach from the rock," Segor said.

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The mayor of a nearby town, Courmayeur, closed the road leading to Ferret Valley but said other portions of Mont Blanc remain safe.

Fabrizio Troilo from the Montagna Sicura (Secure Mountain) Foundation said the glacier located in the Mont Blanc massif has been surveilled since 2012 due to concerns of a fracture that could cause the football field-sized wall of ice to fall off.

The glacier is described as "temperate," meaning water flows between the mountain and the mass of ice.

Troilo said by observing the ice mass using photographic monitoring, he found the glacier moves over one meter a day.

Sporadic temperatures in the region have raised alerts for the foundation. In July and early August, hot temperatures were followed by snowy weather and colder temperatures in higher altitudes, causing a break between the mountain and the ice.

The potential for glacier collapse became a significant possibility in April, though Troilo said the past 15 days had shown a "very rapid evolution" that could lead to a complete fracture.