It was a surprising spectacle: a huge iceberg looming over a small Arctic village. The ice is omnipresent along the coast of Greenland, but this giant has put the inhabitants of the village, Innaarsuit, population 169,
The locals fear that a piece of the iceberg may fall into the ocean and unleash a huge wave in the settlement. The great icebergs do not always melt politely in the ocean. They tend to separate dramatically. "It's not a peaceful process," said Joerg Schaefer, climate researcher at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University.
Thirty-three people were evacuated inland. People were also advised to remove their boats. "They lost their boats, they can not go hunting or fishing," said Gideon Quist, a police inspector in Nuuk, the capital.
The iceberg is the largest the villagers have seen, a member of the local council told Greenland national radio. The satellite data indicated that it measured approximately 650 feet wide, rose almost 300 feet in the air and weighed up to 11 million tons, an expert from the Danish Meteorological Institute told the Danish radio station.
Although large icebergs are common in the Inspector Quist said that what causes concern is that this was substantiated.
Officials expected south winds and high tides to lift the iceberg and take it away from the village.
The Greenland ice sheet is losing ice alarming rate, and the number of icebergs released into the ocean will increase, at least in the coming decades, said Dr. Schaefer.
Last year, a tsunami devastated another village on the west coast of Greenland. Four people died That wave of flooding was caused by the collapse of a slope near the sea.