At least six climbers have died in an avalanche in the Dolomites, northern Italy. According to Italian La Republica There are dozens of missing people. The avalanche began when large boulders and pieces of ice shattered after a glacier ruptured on Mount Marmolada near the popular winter sports resort of Kanazei.
By the time the glacier broke, there were two groups with a total of eighteen climbers nearby. At least eight people were wounded. Several helicopters and rescue teams with dogs have been deployed to locate the missing tourists. Italian media reported that rescuers were making slow progress due to loose ice and the possibility of new avalanches.
Marmolada is the highest mountain in the Dolomites at an altitude of 3300 meters and a popular place for mountain tourists. The fracture site is said to have occurred near a known climbing route. An eyewitness told ANSA news agency, “a loud cracking sound” was followed by “a torrent of snow and ice that shot at high speed towards the valley.”
It is not known what caused the sudden collapse of the glaciers, but local authorities point to the heat wave that has been plaguing Italy since the end of June. For example, record temperatures were measured near a collapsed glacier last Sunday.
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