From: Associated Press
Published March 14, 2006 12:00 AM

Tourists in Vigil of Patagonian Glacier

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A vast Patagonian glacier that lost an enormous wall of ice in a spectacular collapse in 2004 has begun cracking ominously amid expert warnings Monday another section could soon break free.


Hundreds of tourists kept up a round-the-clock vigil near the site as one Argentine TV station interrupted regular programming with regular live shots of the section of the Perito Moreno glacier that juts into a Patagonian lake. A 200-foot wall of ice broke off the glacier and crashed into the same lake in March 2004, the first large-scale collapse witnessed since 1986. Water pressure eroding the glacier as it expanded toward the coast caused the thunderous collapse the first time, experts said.


Authorities said one arm of the vast glacier that had crossed the lake and reached a nearby shoreline had created a kind of large, natural ice dam. Authorities said changing water levels on both sides were exerting enormous pressures that threatened a new collapse. The 3,000-year-old glacier is known as the "White Giant."


Source: Associated Press


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