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Posted Tue Apr 13 2010: from Guardian, from Wit's End:
Peruvian glacier split triggers deadly tsunami
A massive ice block broke from a glacier and crashed into a lake in the Peruvian Andes, unleashing a 23-metre tsunami and sending muddy torrents through nearby towns, killing at least one person. The chunk of ice, estimated at the size of four football pitches, detached from the Hualcan glacier near Carhuaz, about 200 miles north of the capital, Lima, on Sunday. It plunged into a lagoon known as lake 513, triggering a tsunami that breached 23 metre (75ft) high levees and damaged Carhuaz and other villages, according to authorities. The Indeci civil defence institute said 50 homes and a water processing plant serving 60,000 residents were wrecked. Trout fishermen initially presumed dead survived, leaving one confirmed death. Authorities evacuated mountain valley settlements fearing that the ice block, measuring 500 metres by 200 metres, could be followed by more ruptures as the glacier melts.... It was the latest evidence that glaciers are vanishing from Peru, which has 70 percent of the world's tropical icefields. They have retreated by 22 percent since 1975, according to a World Bank report, and warmer temperatures are expected to erase them entirely within 20 years.
[Read more stories about: melting glaciers, global warming, canary in coal mine]

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