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Mont Blanc under surveillance over fears glacier could collapse

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This picture taken in the Mont Blanc Massif, on August 3, 2021 shows a serac raising a snow cloud as falls downstream from Grandes Jorasses.
This picture taken in the Mont Blanc Massif, on August 3, 2021 shows a serac raising a snow cloud as falls downstream from Grandes Jorasses.   -   Copyright  MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
By Euronews with AFP

Local authorities have placed the Planpincieux glacier on the Italian side of Mont Blanc under special surveillance due to fears it could collapse.

Authorities monitor the glacier's movement with a radar to avoid catastrophe in the valley below. The radar sends radio waves that hit the surface and travel back.

Italian authorities are also studying the block of ice called Whymper located on the Grandes Jorasses glacier.

"We have observed in the last decade that there has been an acceleration of the [glacier's] movements, they are increasingly important and are for sure related to climate change," noted Valerio Segor, regional director of natural risk management of the Aosta Valley.

"We have a significant increase in temperatures and this causes a more rapid formation of the flow of the sub-glacial water. The underground water circulation is changing its morphology as the glacier slowly withdraws, leading towards a tendency to collapse," he added.

Authorities warn the movements are not insignificant with the glacier slipping as much as 150 centimetres a day in extreme cases.

Watch the full video report in the player above.