Monday, 24 September, 2018

Massive melting iceberg threatens Greenland village

Bergs calved from Helheim glacier float in Sermilik Fjord on the south-eastern coast of Greenland in this Greenland Village Evacuated As Giant Iceberg Approaches, May Create Tsunami
Guillermo Lane | 16 July, 2018, 18:44

Susanne K. Eliassen, a member of the village council, told the local newspaper Sermitsiaq that it was not unusual for large icebergs to be seen close to Innaarsuit. "I will be the first person to get out of there".

David Holland, an oceanographer at New York University who researches in Greenland, told NPR the following.

"All the people in the danger area have been evacuated to a building that is further up in the village". The iceberg is reportedly grounded on the seafloor.

Holland says it can be quite alarming for residents.

Photos are unbelievable: 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.

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Last summer, four people died after waves swamped a settlement in northwestern Greenland, reports Reuters.

Authorities have been keeping a close eye on the lumbering iceberg and say it's moved some 600 yards to the north since being lodged.

Last June, according to Quartz, a landslide caused by a 4.1 magnitude quake that struck 17 miles north of the village of Nuugaatsiaq partly triggered a tsunami that washed away 11 homes and killed four people.

Something that may come as a bit of a surprise is that most of the residents of Innaarsuit, one of seaside communities in Greenland with a marine-based economy, don't know how to swim. It is in Nuuk, which is very low on the coast compared to this village that we are talking about. "The ocean water is just so cold; you can't even put your toe in without it being unbearably freezing".

That calving event was mostly linked to natural ice shelf processes and is not expected to cause a significant sea level rise because it was already hanging over the water before it broke away, writes Weather Network science writer Scott Sutherland.

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