Four-mile-long iceberg breaks off from Greenland glacier

Four-mile-long iceberg breaks off from Greenland glacier

Those living near the coast have been evacuated to higher ground as a precaution and police have moved a search-and-rescue helicopter closer to the area. "I will be the first person to get out of there".

Photos are fantastic: a huge mountain of snow towers on a small village, with colorful houses, reminds the small dollhouses against light brown landscapes.But for those people living in the houses that beauty can put their life in danger.

New York University professor David Holland, an expert in atmospheric and ocean science, told The Associated Press that "this is the largest event we've seen in over a decade in Greenland".

Just last June, an natural disaster triggered a tsunami near the village of Nuugaatsiaq. The iceberg is now grounded, but any change in weather could cause it to shift.

A giant iceberg is seen behind an Innaarsuit settlement, Greenland July 12, 2018. "So this happened with one of these bergs".

Anna Hogg, a glaciologist at the University of Leeds told NPR that, despite their island home and reliance on maritime industries, most Greenlanders can not swim.

Credit PA
Credit PA

So far, 33 villagers whose homes are closest to the shore have been evacuated.

Last summer, four people died and 11 were injured after waves slammed a different settlement in northwestern Greenland. Huge chunks of ice are cascading into the water, sending large waves crashing towards the coast.

Earthquakes and tsunamis have created major floods in Greenland in the past years.

Hogg says "Greenland has only one swimming pool".

"If you think about it, why would they be able to swim?" she said.

Spikes in drifting iceberg numbers are also a cause for concern in the shipping industry, as they have been increasingly moving into North Atlantic trade routes and causing havoc.

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