Search in Italy for 17 missing after avalanche in the Alps

Search in Italy for 17 missing after avalanche in the Alps
Fecha de publicación: 
4 July 2022
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Rome, Jul 4 (Prensa Latina) Italian rescue teams are searching with the support of drones and helicopters for 17 people missing after a recent avalanche of ice, snow and rocks, caused by the collapse of a glacier in the Alps, a spokesman said.

Sandro Raimondi, spokesman for the Prosecutor’s Office of the city of Trento, located near the site, said that it is still difficult to determine the exact number of victims of the tragedy, which cost the lives of at least six people.

Last Sunday afternoon on the Marmolada glacier, located at an altitude of 3,300 meters in the Alpine massif of the Dolomites, a serac or fragmented block of ice fractured, causing a gigantic avalanche at 300 kilometers per hour.

Rescuer Gino Comelli declared that, “we found some mangled bodies among the pile of ice and debris scattered over a thousand meters”, but only four of the six deceased found were identified so far, among them three Italians and one Czech.

The nine injured in this accident were taken to hospitals in the region and the search for other dead or survivors continues, although the spokesman for the National Alpine Rescue Directorate, Fabio Bristot, stated that “it will be difficult to find anyone alive”.

Drones equipped with thermal sensors capable of detecting bodies by the heat they emit are being used in the rescue work, but direct human participation is difficult due to the danger of new landslides given the high temperatures.

Roberto Colucci, an expert of the Italian Research Center (CNR) on these phenomena, assured the media that these episodes will be repeated, due to global warming accentuated by the wave of high temperatures that is currently affecting Italy.

As a consequence of climate change, according to initial estimates, “in 25 or 30 years the Marmolada glacier will not exist”, but at the current rate, he said, “it will probably happen sooner” and by the year 2100, between 70 and 96% of Alpine glaciers will have disappeared

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