WORLD NEWS

Rain hampers search for missing in Italian glacier avalanche

Jul 4, 2022, 7:18 AM
This undated image made available Monday, July 4, 2022, by the press office of the Autonomous Provi...
This undated image made available Monday, July 4, 2022, by the press office of the Autonomous Province of Trento shows the glacier in the Marmolada range of Italy's Alps near Trento from which a large chunk has broken loose Sunday, killing at least six hikers and injuring eight others. Drones were being used to spot any more bodies on an Italian Alpine mountainside a day after a huge chunk of a glacier broke loose, sending an avalanche of ice, snow, and rocks onto hikers. Rescuers on Sunday spotted six bodies and said nine survivors were injured. Attention on Monday was focused on determining how many people who might have been hiking on the Marmolada peak are unaccounted for. Rescuers said conditions downslope from the glacier, which has been melting for decades, were still too unstable to immediately send rescuers and dogs into the area to look for others buried under tons of debris. (Autonomous Province of Trento)
(Autonomous Province of Trento)

ROME (AP) — Thunderstorms hampered Monday the search for more than a dozen hikers who remained unaccounted for a day after a huge chunk of an Alpine glacier in Italy broke off, sending an avalanche of ice, snow and rocks down the slope. Italy’s state TV said another body was recovered, raising the known death toll to seven.

Nine others were injured when the avalanche was unleashed from the Marmolada glacier Sunday afternoon when dozens of hikers were on excursions, some of them roped together.

Trento Prosecutor Sandro Raimondi said 17 hikers were initially believed to be missing, the Italian news agency LaPresse reported. But later, RAI state TV reported from the scene that the number of unaccounted for dropped to 15 after authorities were able to track down some of those feared missing.

At least four bodies, brought to a makeshift morgue in an ice rink in Canazei, a resort town in the Dolomite mountains, had been identified by Monday afternoon.

RAI said three of those identified were Italians, including an experienced Alpine guide who was leading a group of hikers. Another was a hiker whose relatives said he had just sent a selfie of himself from the slope shortly before the avalanche barreled down.

One of the dead was from Czechia, RAI said.

According to media reports, those feared missing include some Italians three Romanians, one with French nationality, another from Austria, and four from Czechia.

Veneto regional Gov. Luca Zaia said some of those hiking in the area on Sunday were roped together as they climbed.

Raimondi was quoted as saying two of the injured are Germans. Zaia told reporters that one of the Germans was a 65-year-old man. Of the patients was so badly injured, so far identification has been impossible.

The hospital survivors suffered chest and cranial injuries, said Zaia.

Drones were being used to help look for any of the missing as well as verify safety.

Sixteen cars remained unclaimed in the area’s parking lot, and authorities sought to track down occupants through license plates. It was unclear how many of the cars might have belonged to the already identified victims or to the injured, all of whom were flown by helicopters on Sunday to hospitals.

Rescuers said conditions downslope from the glacier, which has been melting for decades, were still too unstable to early Monday to send back teams of people and dogs to dig into tons of debris.

The thunderstorm forced the helicopter flying Premier Mario Draghi to the stricken area to be diverted. It wasn’t clear when he and the head of the national Civil Protection agency would arrive in Canazei for briefings.

What caused a pinnacle of the glacier to break off and thunder down the slope at a speed estimated by experts at some 300 kph (nearly 200 mph), wasn’t immediately known. But the heat wave gripping Italy since May, bringing temperatures unusually high for the start of summer even up in the normally cooler Alps was being cited as a likely factor.

Jacopo Gabrieli, a polar sciences researcher at Italy’s state-run CNR research center, noted that the long heat wave, spanning May and June, was the hottest in northern Italy in that period for nearly 20 years.

“It’s absolutely an anomaly,” Gabrieli said in an interview on Italian state TV Monday. Like other experts, he said it would have been impossible to predict when or if a serac — a pinnacle from a glacier’s overhang — could break off, as it did on Sunday.

Alpine rescuers on Sunday noted that late last week, the temperature on the 3,300-meter (11,000-foot) high peak had topped 10C (50F), far higher than usual. Operators of rustic shelters along the mountainside said temperatures at the 2,000-meter (6,600 foot) level recently reached 24C (75 F), unheard-of heat in a place where excursionists go in summer to keep cool.

The glacier, in the Marmolada range, is the largest in the Dolomite mountains in northeastern Italy. People ski on it in the winter. But the glacier has been rapidly melting away over the past decades, with much of its volume gone. Experts at Italy’s state-run CNR research center, which has a polar sciences institute, estimated a couple of years ago that the glacier won’t exist anymore within 25-30 years.

The Mediterranean basin, which includes southern European countries like Italy, has been identified by U.N. experts as a “climate change hot spot,” likely to suffer heat waves and water shortages, among other consequences.

Pope Francis, who has made care of the planet a priority of his papacy, tweeted an invitation to pray for the avalanche victims and their families. “The tragedies that we are experiencing with climate change must push us to urgently search for new ways that are respectful of persons and nature,” Francis wrote.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

World News

...
Associated Press

Roller coaster crash at German amusement park injures 34

Two roller coaster trains crashed into each other Thursday at an amusement park in southern Germany, injuring at least 34 people.
1 day ago
Travelers in the departure hall at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, China, on Monday, ...
Jessie Yeung and Kathleen Magramo, CNN

Hong Kong suffers biggest ever population drop as exodus accelerates

Hong Kong has recorded its sharpest annual drop in population, with experts blaming the decline on strict COVID-19 control measures and a political crackdown.
1 day ago
BUCHA, UKRAINE - AUGUST 11: Workers are placing a body of one of the unidentified persons who were ...
HANNA ARHIROVA Associated Press

Buried as numbers, more of Bucha’s victims are laid to rest

With graves marked only with numbers, not names, burial services were held Thursday for 11 more unidentified bodies found in Bucha
1 day ago
(Planet Labs)...
Brad Lendon and Paul P. Murphy, CNN

Seven Russian warplanes were destroyed in huge blasts at Crimean air base

At least seven Russian warplanes were destroyed after explosions rocked annexed Crimea on Tuesday, new satellite images show.
2 days ago
...
SIBI ARASU Associated Press

Satellite data finds landfills are methane ‘super emitters’

BENGALURU, India (AP) — Landfills are releasing a significant amount of planet-warming methane into the atmosphere from the decomposition of waste, a study suggests. Scientists used satellite data from four major cities worldwide — Delhi and Mumbai in India, Lahore in Pakistan and Buenos Aires in Argentina — and found that city-level emissions in 2018 […]
2 days ago
FILE: This photo provided by the fire brigade of the Gironde region (SDIS 33) shows firefighters un...
Associated Press

Wildfire in southwestern France: 8,000 people evacuated

The blaze forced the evacuation of about 8,000 people and destroyed at least sixteen houses.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Rain hampers search for missing in Italian glacier avalanche