Huge iceberg could destroy tiny island in Greenland

Tsumani fear as huge iceberg drifts close to Greenland village

"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", says David Holland, an oceanographer at New York University who does research in Greenland during the summer months.

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

"These are small villages with little houses located right at the shoreline, and all of a sudden icebergs show up, and they look like NY skyscrapers, they're just towering", he says.

In north-western Greenland, another large iceberg has apparently grounded on the sea floor near the village of Innarsuit.

Four people died last summer after waves triggered by an natural disaster swamped a settlement in northwestern Greenland, Reuters reported.

"Its residents were evacuated in the early hours of Friday in fears that a flood would hit the place as a result of the broken iceberg", Greenland police spokeswoman Lina Davidsen told Danish broadcaster TV2.

He says that's why authorities have taken action to evacuate those living closest to the water from the village of Innaarsuit, where the iceberg has parked itself just off the coast.

They have been camping by the Helheim Glacier for weeks to collect data to better project sea-level changes.

Innaarsuit is about 965 kilometres north of Nuuk, the country's capital.

The video, which is 20 times faster than real time, shows 3% the annual ice loss of Greenland occuring in 30 minutes.

"It sounded like rockets going off", he said, describing it as "a very complex, chaotic, noisy event".

"We can feel the concern among the residents", said Susanna Eliasson, a member of the village council, told CBC.

Something that may come as a bit of a surprise is that most of the residents of Innaarsuit, one of seaside communities in Greenland with a marine-based economy, don't know how to swim.

"Iceberg production in Greenland has been increasing in the past 100 years as climate change has become stronger", he said, while the rising number of icebergs were in turn "increasing the tsunami hazards".

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