Glacier Threatens Valley in Italy

Glacier Threatens Valley in Italy

MILAN (AP) -- A fast-moving, melting glacier is threatening a picturesque Italian valley near the northwestern mountain town of Courmayeur, prompting the mayor to close down an access road.

Mayor Stefano Miserocchi has forbidden access to a section of the Val Ferret, outside of Courmayeur, a popular hiking spot. That came after experts monitoring the massive Planpincieux glacier warned that they are recording ice movements of up to 50 centimeters (nearly 20 inches) a day and that a chunk of the glacier was at risk of collapsing.

The glacier is located on the Grande Jorasses peak of the Mont Blanc massif in the Alps that straddles the borders of Italy, France and Switzerland.

Courmayeur spokesman Moreno Vignolini said Wednesday the closed road is used mostly for summer homes. No one has been evacuated.