7 dead, 8 injured, and 19 reported missing after a massive glacier collapse in Italy (updated)

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Seven people were killed, eight injured, and 19 people went missing when a big part of the Marmolada glacier in northern Italy collapsed on Sunday, triggering a devastating avalanche of snow, ice, and rock, according to sources on Monday.


The number of missing persons may be considerably greater due to uncertainty over how many people were in the region when the catastrophe happened.

11 Italians are missing, from Trento, Veneto, Czech Republic, Romania, Austria, and France. Two of the dead have yet to be recognized. According to accounts, three of the victims are Italian and one is Czech. Throughout the night, rescuers used drones to search for survivors.

According to scientists who study the ice on mountains, events like the collapse of a glacier on the Marmolada mountain, which killed at least six people and left much more missing, are predicted to become more prevalent as the earth warms.

Experts have pointed to the searing summer in Italy as a role in this glacier since it is believed to have melted enormous volumes of ice.

Experts claim the current heat wave in Italy has rendered the glacier unstable, with temperatures exceeding 10°C at 3,000m above sea level, which was impossible only a few years ago thus early in the summer. According to scientists, increasingly frequent and extreme heat waves are a result of human-caused climate change.

“Temperatures have been far above average for days, and there was not much snow last winter, so the glacier is effectively no longer protected,” said Renato Colucci of the National Research Council’s Polar Science Institute (Cnr-Isp).
“This most likely resulted in a considerable amount of melted water near the glacier’s base.”

Premier Mario Draghi, accompanied by Civil Protection Department Head Fabrizio Curcio, is visiting Canazei, in the northern province of Trento, where rescue efforts are being conducted.


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