An 11-million ton iceberg, perched off the coast of a tiny Greenland village, is striking fear in the hearts of residents.
Residents of Innaarsuit worry that a chunk of it could break off and unleash a tsunami upon the town.
Whatever happens to the gigantic mountain of ice, which a Danish meteorologist said is 650 feet wide ─ nearly the length of two football fields ─ and rises almost 300 feet into the air, will depend largely on the weather.
A strong wind could push the iceberg into the nearby Baffin Bay, averting a crisis.
Alternatively, a large amount of warm precipitation could further destabilize the berg and cause a large piece to break off and create a wave that would inundate the town.
“It’s not a peaceful process,” Joerg Schaefer, a climate researcher at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, told The New York Times.
So far, 33 people have been moved to safer places inland, while others have been asked to move their boats away from the iceberg, according to The Washington Post.
“We are very concerned and are afraid,” Karl Petersen, chair for the local council in Innaarsuit, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
Last June, an earthquake triggered a tsunami near the village of Nuugaatsiaq that washed away 11 homes and killed four people. Video posted online showed residents fleeing and waves destroying property.
A Danish Royal Navy ship is standing by, according to the CBC, in case the situation in Innaarsuit sours.
Meanwhile, residents are watching the weather forecast closely.
The Post reported that the area will see relatively sedate winds for the next week; on Sunday, July 22, there is rain forecast to affect the area.