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Mont Blanc glacier at risk of collapse, PM calls for climate action

by ace

MILAN (Reuters) – Part of a glacier on Mont Blanc, Europe's highest mountain, is in danger of collapsing, leading Italian authorities to close roads and evacuate Alpine villages and the Prime Minister to call for measures to combat global warming .

An estimated section of up to 250,000 cubic meters of ice could fall on the mountain, Mayor of neighboring Courmayeur, Stefano Miserocchi, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Miserocchi ordered the closure of two roads and the evacuation of 4,800-meter high mountain huts after experts said the Planpincieux glacier was sliding at ever-increasing speed, threatening part of the Ferret Valley.

Between late August and early September, the bottom of the glacier slid at a speed of 50-60 cm (20-24 inches) per day. )

"These phenomena once again show how the mountain is undergoing a period of major change due to climate factors, so it is especially vulnerable," said Miserocchi.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, speaking at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, said that "the news that a glacier in Mont Blanc is in danger of collapsing is a warning that cannot leave us indifferent, should shake us and we have that mobilize us ".

In the Alps, there is concern that higher temperatures increase the risk of melting permafrost and disappearing glaciers.

(Reporting by Elisa Anzolin and Francesca Piscioneri, Timothy Heritage Edition)

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