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Melting mountain Glacier collapses near Swiss ski resort

An unstable part of a glacier in the Swiss Alps has now completely collapsed, without causing any major damage. (SRF/swissinfo.chexternal link)

The bulk of the ice tongue of the Trift glacier in canton Valais fell down on Sunday, the rest on Monday morning. The area affected is above the village of Saas-Grund, near the resort of Saas-Fee. The glacier rises to a height of 2,750 metres (9,022 feet) above sea level. More than 200 people were evacuated from their homes as a precaution on Sunday but they were allowed to return the same day. Cable cars and train services have been restored, according to Swiss Public Television, SRF.

Movement of the glacier was first detected in 2014 and it has been permanently monitored since 2015, when the authorities first evacuated Saas-Fee residents as a precaution. The 2.5km long glacier began flowing at an increasingly faster pace a few days ago. The average temperature in the Swiss Alps is rising, thought to be a result of climate change, and glaciers are slowly melting away. 

SRF journalists took a helicopter ride over the Trift to inspect the extent of the initial rupture on Sunday. 

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