Massive Glacier Collapse Near Machu Picchu, Peru (5 Dead/10 Missing)

Massive Glacier Collapse Near Machu Picchu, Peru (5 Dead/10 Missing)

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Massive Glacier Collapse Near Machu Picchu, Peru (5 Dead/10 Missing)

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“Approximately 400 thousand cubic meters of mixed material (ice and rocks) fell off the west face of the snow,  falling over the Salkanraycocha lagoon, which originated its overflow and subsequent increase in the flow of the Salkantay River. Thus, the waters of this river increased dramatically, carrying large rocks in addition to rubble, affecting 15 villages that settled on the sides of the riverbed.” -Hydrology and Glaciology Specialist, Oscar Vilca Gómez

A massive glacial collapse happened recently near Machu Picchu (Cusco Region, Urubamba Province) leaving 5 dead and 10 missing in its wake. Diario Correo reports the catastrophic debris flow was released on February 23, 2020, sending approximately 400 thousand cubic meters of mixed material (ice and rocks) cascading downhill. The local rivers were inundated affecting 15 villages downstream.

Hydraulic Engineer Julio Montenegro G. took to twitter with his explanation of the event with the below image to demonstrate:

“The Santa Teresa flood in Cusco originated in the Salkantay glacier (6,271 masl) after an ice-rock avalanche in S slope of W sector with approx. 400,000 m3 (INAIGEM, 2020) that reach a front moraine then Humantay lake, overtopping without beaching”Unfortunately reporting on the incident is scattered and expert analysis is sparse. We will update this as news comes in. We send our thoughts to all affected in the region.

Here is footage of the surging rivers resulting from the collapse:

images from Julio Montenegro G twitter & PeruTravelExpe Twitter

 

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