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Warming is blamed as chunk of glacier slides down Mont Blanc

‘Breaking up’: The Planpincieux glacier on the Grandes Jorasses peak PICTURE: GETTY

FEARS that a huge chunk of glacier on Mont Blanc could break away have led Italian authorities to close roads and evacuate mountain huts.

About 8.8million cubic feet of ice from the Planpincieux glacier on the Grandes Jorasses peak is sliding down the 14,000ft mountain at 16-23in a day, officials said.

Stefano Miserocchi, mayor of the nearby ski resort of Courmayeur, said global warming was affecting the area. ‘These phenomena once again show how the mountain is going through a period of major change due to climate factors and, therefore, it is particularly vulnerable,’ he said.

There was no threat to residential areas or tourist facilities, he added.

Experts from the Valle d’Aosta regional government and the Fondazione Montagna Sicura — Safe Mountain Foundation — said it was impossible to predict when the ice might break away.

An elderly couple in a car were killed and hundreds of people evacuated from the area after a landslide in August 2018.