- Ritzau Scanpix / Karl Petersen / via REUTERS
- A massive glacier is hovering near the tiny village of Innaarsuit in northwest Greenland.
- Residents had to be evacuated from the danger zone.
- If it calves, the glacier could prompt a massive tsunami, swamping the town.
They’re used to seeing icebergs floating around in Greenland, but nothing quite this big.
A massive iceberg came just shy of one football field’s distance, or about 100 meters, from the shore there on Thursday, and some residents had to be evacuated to hillier spots.
Keld Quistgaard from the Danish Meteorological Institute told the Danish Broadcasting Corporation that the berg weighs 8 million to 10 million tons and rises nearly 300 feet in the air above the water.
“We are used to big icebergs, but we haven’t seen such a big one before,” Susanna Eliassen, a member of the village council in Innaarsuit, told the Greenlandic Broadcasting Corporation, or KNR.
Just 169 people live in Innaarsuit, according to The New York Times. At least 33 people of them had to be evacuated, as KNR reported.
By Saturday, the giant ice flow had moved out from the shore and was sitting about 500 meters from the village, but KNR was still calling it a “special situation,” and images showed the town was not out of the danger zone yet. If the iceberg calves, it could prompt a massive tsunami.
The iceberg is so big that the European Space Agency caught a glimpse of it from space last week. KNR posted this nearly unbelievable time-lapse video of the giant mountain of ice quietly drifting past town on the state broadcaster’s verified YouTube channel on Tuesday, and it looks like Innaarsuit is almost clear of the big threat:
It’s part of a troubling trend in the Arctic, where the climate is changing twice as fast as it is elsewhere on the planet.
The Arctic “shows no sign of returning to the reliably frozen region of recent past decades,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in its 2017 Arctic Report Card.
In June 2017, at least four people were killed in Greenland when a huge wave came ashore. Four houses were also flushed out to sea after a landslide prompted a tsunami.
Watch what happens as just a sliver breaks off from the iceberg hovering near the town, causing a giant wave to head toward the shore and gently rocking the entire mass of ice:
Of course, Greenland isn’t the only place feeling the heat recently.
The Times reported last week that nights were warming nearly twice as fast as days and that it’s becoming a potentially deadly problem across North America.