Huge iceberg off Greenland sparks flooding fears

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An iceberg the size of a hill has drifted close to a tiny village on the western coast of Greenland, prompting fears it could swamp the settlement with a tsunami if it splits.

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 now, warmer weather and precipitation are causing experts to fear a large chunk will break off and the resulting wave will swamp the town. "By capturing how it unfolds, we can see, first-hand, its breath-taking significance".

Villagers at risk have been moved to safer areas of the community, with school buildings, a daycare center and relatives offering sanctuary from the behemoth berg, deputy chief officer Lina Davidsen told KNR.

On the other side of the giant icy island, in northwestern Greenland, another large iceberg appeared to be grounded on the sea floor near the village of Innaarsuit, with a population of 169.

David Holland, an oceanographer at New York University who researches in Greenland, told NPR the following.

Denise Holland, the logistics coordinator for NYU's Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and NYU Abu Dhabi's Center for Global Sea Level Change, filmed the calving event.

Innaarsuit is located about 1000 kilometres north of Nuuk, Greenland's capital and largest city.

A video taken by the team shows how ice can suddenly break off a glacier and form icebergs in the ocean.

He said "it sounded like rockets going off " and described it as a very "complex, chaotic, noisy event".

"There's a risk that a large chunk of ice could break off this very large iceberg, fall into the ocean, and cause a mini-tidal wave that will wash up and hit the village", Dr. Anna Hogg, a glaciologist at the University of Leeds, says.

"We can feel the concern among the residents". There's hope that a new moon will bring in a rise in the tide, allowing the iceberg to dislodge itself and float away from the village, says Sermitsiaq, a national newspaper in Greenland.