Tourist films moment glacier on 200-metre mountain collapses

·2-min read

Watch: Glacier collapses after 'abnormally high' temperatures and heavy rainfall

This is the moment a glacier on a 200-metre tall mountain collapsed and flowed like a waterfall in “abnormal” temperatures in Chile.

Warmer weather combined with rainfall to weaken ice walls which caused part of a hanging glacier to break off at Queulat National Park, in Aysen, in the Patagonia region.

The incident was caught on video by tourist Pablo Ignacio Sanhueza Lara who was taking a group tour in the region, which is more than 1,200 kilometres (746 miles) south of Chile's capital.

In the video filmed on 9 September, the glacier rumbles and then breaks off to the amazement of those watching from a safe vantage point.

It continues to rumble and flow for around 40 seconds and then stops.

Read more: Will the ‘triple-dip La Niña’ lead to a freezing winter in Britain?

A glacier is pictured calving into the river, in Queulat National Park, in Aysen, Chile. (Reuters)
A glacier is pictured collapsing into the river, in Queulat National Park, in Aysen, Chile. (Reuters)

Lara told Storyful: “On the journey to the park, we heard some loud noises that seemed to come from the inside, so we went to check.

“I had never seen anything like that before.”

University of Santiago climate scientist Raul Cordero said detachments between masses of ice are normal, but added the frequency of these events was troubling and had been triggered by heat waves or intense liquid precipitation events.

Read more: A 1988 warning about climate change was mostly right.

He said there was a heat wave with "very abnormal" temperatures in that area of Patagonia before the collapse.

Cordero said: "One of the consequences of global warming is that it is destabilizing several glaciers and in particular some unstable glacier walls.

"That is the case of what happened in the last few days in Patagonia in a similar way to what happened a couple of months ago in both the Himalayas and the Alps."