Tiny Greenland Village Could Be Wiped Out By Tsunami If 11 Million-Ton Iceberg Calves

Inquisitr Staff

According to FOX News, an 11 million-ton iceberg is poised to calve, which could cause a tsunami to wash over the island village of Innaarsuit, Greenland. The iceberg is currently grounded, but any change in weather could cause it to shift.

Residents are hoping for a strong wind and turning tide, which could push the iceberg safely past the island into the nearby Baffin Bay, but currently, warmer weather and precipitation are causing experts to fear a large chunk will break off and the resulting wave will swamp the town.

Joerg Schaefer, a climate researcher at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, told the New York Times that it's not a peaceful process, and Karl Petersen, chair for the local council in Innaarsuit, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp that the villagers are very concerned and afraid.

The BBC reports that villagers closest to the shoreline have been evacuated, a move that may expand to the whole village of 169 persons if conditions change for the worse. BBC Live's Twitter stream featured photos of the breathtaking sight.

"It's kind of like, if you lived in the suburbs, and you woke up one morning and looked out, and there was a skyscraper next to your house. I'd be the first to get out of there."

According to The Weather Channel, Dr. Anna Hogg, a glaciologist at the University of Leeds, says many were surprised to learn that most of the residents of Innaarsuit don't know how to swim. She points out that freezing water conditions almost year-round isn't exactly conducive to swimming.

"There's only one swimming pool in Greenland. It's in Nuuk, which is much further down the coast than this village that we're talking about. If you think about it, why would they be able to swim? The ocean water is just so cold; you can't even put your toe in without it being unbearably freezing."

As mentioned by an expert from the Danish Meteorological Institute, satellite data reveals that the iceberg spans about 650 feet in width and shows exposed ice almost 300 feet above the waterline. Just off the Innaarsuit coastline, a Danish Royal Navy ship is standing by in case a full evacuation is needed.