A huge iceberg has drifted perilously close to the tiny Greenland village Innaarsuit, causing a state of emergency.
As the hill-sized iceberg looms over the picturesque village, local authorities have urged people to head further on up the steep slope, where the island settlement is situated.
It’s feared the iceberg could calve, sending great chunks of ice crashing into the ocean and some residents are worried calving could trigger a tsunami.
The waves caused by such an event would be catastrophic enough to lead to the total destruction of Innaarsuit, swamping the little village community with freezing water.
Concerns have also been raised about the potential for rivers close to the western coast settlement, to experience a water surge.
The monstrous iceberg has crept closer over the course of a few days, before becoming grounded in the shallows of Baffin Bay. It’s reportedly ‘stuck’ and not moved over night.
Frighteningly, a small part of the iceberg has already broken away, causing large waves. Those living in the ‘danger zone’ close to the shore are now preparing for an emergency evacuation.
A person from the next village captured the moment a small piece of ice broke away:
Chair for the local council in Innaarsuit, Karl Petersen, told CBC News:
There are 180 inhabitants and we are very concerned and are afraid.
Petersen stated emergency responders are currently monitoring the iceberg closely. A Danish Royal Navy ship is also said to be on stand by.
Both government and police have been placed on high alert and have moved a search-and-rescue (SAR) helicopter closer to the remote village.
Check out six other times nature has proved to be absolutely terrifying below:
Village council member in Innaarsuit, Susanna Eliassen, told state broadcaster KNR:
We can feel the concern among the residents. We are used to big icebergs, but we haven’t seen such a big one before.
Acting emergency response officer, Bjarne Markussen said:
The preparedness in the neighbouring towns is informed that they must be ready.
We have told those living near the water that if they have someone they can sleep further up in the village, they should do it.
Heavy rain has been predicted in the region over the coming weekend. This may potentially increase the chances of a major calving incident.
The danger zone is inhabited by several elderly residents, as well as Innaarsuit’s shop and power plant.
If this iceberg calves, it’s dangerous for the shop, the power plant and other houses on the coast where the elderly live.
It’s now hoped the wind will pick up and dislodge the iceberg, allowing it to float away out to sea once more.
Looks like a piece is ready to break off. pic.twitter.com/X0OdzRKk0p
— Padraig (@TheBarrier7) July 13, 2018
Amazing picture! But frightening at the sheer size of this berg.
— Londongal (@Londongal_63) July 13, 2018
That has to be frightening.
— Fredericka Lightening (@FrederickaLigh1) July 13, 2018
Only last summer, four people died and 11 more were injured in Nuugaatsiaq – 100 miles south of Innaarsuit – after waves washed their homes out to sea.
Our thoughts are with the residents of Innaarsuit at this unsettling time.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.