Chunk of glacier breaks off in Chilean Patagonia

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-29 06:54:01|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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SANTIAGO, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- A large chunk of the Grey Glacier in Chile's southern Patagonian region has broken off from the massive field, authorities reported on Tuesday.

After park rangers reported the development in Torres del Paine Park, the regional director of Chile's national forest service CONAF, Maria Elisabeth Munoz, said "high temperatures in recent days could have had something to do with the phenomenon."

According to the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH), "what is most singular" about the incident "is that it is an iceberg of very large dimensions, and that really draws the attention."

The INACH said it was monitoring the situation via satellite to determine the potential environmental impact on the area's ecosystem and navigation.

The front of the glacier is about 800 meters wide and "that is where the ice mass, measuring approximately 350 meters by 380 meters, separated," said INACH glaciologist Ricardo Jana.

Melting icebergs can raise sea levels and "often impede the normal flow of ships," said Jana.

He added the chunk currently appears compact and whole, "but it can become a threat as it moves and breaks up into smaller pieces."

"The detachment of the Grey Glacier in Torres del Paine demands we redouble our efforts in the fight against Climate Change," Claudio Orrego, intendant of the Santiago Metropolitan Region, said via Twitter.