Science

Huge iceberg near Greenland village sparks flooding fears

A massive iceberg drifting near the coast of Greenland has triggered fears of flooding if it breaks up, leading the authorities to evacuate a high-risk zone.

Greenland authorities have urged residents of the Innarsuit island settlement to move away from the coast over fears that the iceberg could swamp the area if it breaks up
Greenland authorities have urged residents of the Innarsuit island settlement to move away from the coast over fears that the iceberg could swamp the area if it breaks up (Ritzau Scanpix/AFP)

A massive iceberg drifting near the coast of Greenland has triggered fears of flooding if it breaks up, leading the authorities to evacuate a high-risk zone.

The authorities have urged residents of the Innarsuit island settlement with houses on a promontory to move away from the shore over fears that the iceberg, which was spotted on Thursday, could swamp the area.

"We fear the iceberg could calve and send a flood towards the village," Lina Davidsen, a security chief at the Greenland police, told Danish news agency Ritzau on Friday.

The settlement in northwestern Greenland has 169 inhabitants, but only those living closest to the iceberg have been evacuated, Ritzau reported.

"The iceberg is still near the village and the police are now discussing what do to next," Kunuk Frediksen, a police chief in the Danish autonomous territory, told AFP.

The incident comes weeks after scientists at New York University shot and released a video of a massive iceberg breaking free from a glacier in eastern Greenland in June.

Last year, four people died and 11 were injured after an earthquake sparked a tsunami off another island settlement called Nuugaatsiaq, sending several houses crashing into the sea.