Italian Alps glacier collapse killed 9, searches going on

Italian Alps glacier collapse killed 9, searches going on

Four days after the terrible avalanche last weekend, two additional bodies were discovered in the Italian Alps as rescue efforts continued to look for survivors. 

The corpses found on Wednesday raised the number of deaths that have been officially verified to nine.

The Dolomites in northern Italy saw record temperatures on Sunday afternoon when a portion of a glacier detached from Marmolada, the range’s highest summit, and fell into the ground below. 

Using drones to scan the avalanche debris, authorities could find two more fatalities on Wednesday.

This week has been particularly difficult for search and rescue personnel, who was first charged with finding more than a dozen missing hikers.

Rescuers originally scanned the region with the assistance of helicopters and dogs. Still, search operations were constrained due to worries about the glacier’s possible instability.

According to Maurizio Dellantonio, president of the National Alpine Rescue Service, at a press conference on Wednesday evening, the search will resume Thursday morning with rescue teams on the ground supported by helicopters that will be ready to airlift the teams out of the mountain range should the environment become too dangerous. 

According to Dellantonio, the glacier’s progress is continually being observed.

Since Sunday, eight hikers have been saved. However, authorities are still searching for at least three more whose loved ones had previously reported missing. 

According to Autonomous Province of Trentino President Maurizio Fugatti, four of the nine victims killed in the avalanche have been identified by family members.

But the identities of the other five are still unknown. The identification of the deceased’s bodies would likely be challenging due to the extensive damage brought on by the collapse, a rescuer earlier this week told AFP.

While experts agree that these glacial detachments are uncommon and unpredictable, they also think that the effects of climate change and patterns of unusually warm and dry weather that have been seen across Italy may cause them to occur more frequently.

According to Renato Colucci, when there is so much heat and water running at the base, we are in the worst circumstances for a detachment of this kind. 

He works at Italy’s Council for National Research’s Institute of Polar Sciences. Although we cannot determine whether it was a deep or superficial detachment, the size of it appears to be very large based on the initial images and information received.