Rising global temperatures are weakening glaciers in mountainous areas, where millions of people rely on these reservoirs as a source of water
By Kasha Patel
July 12, 2022
On Friday around 2:45 p.m., British tourist Harry Shimmin reached the highest point in his trek along the Jukku pass in the Tian Shan mountains in Kyrgyzstan. He separated from the group to take pictures from the edge of a cliff when he heard deep ice cracking behind him. He turned around to an avalanche of glacial ice and snow rushing toward him and within moments found himself in a blizzard.
“When the snow started coming over and it got dark / harder to breath, I was bricking it and thought I might die,” Shimmin wrote an Instagram post. Shimmin and his group survived, although one member was sent to the hospital.
Hikers narrowly escape avalanche in Kyrgyzstan
The avalanche was the second glacier collapse of the week, demonstrating the perils of human-caused climate change amid a blistering hot summer in parts of Europe and Asia.
On July 3, a glacier chunk as large as an apartment building detached in Italy’s Dolomites region and killed at least 11 hikers. The block separated from a melting glacier on Marmolada mountain and triggered an avalanche of ice, rock and debris below, where many tourists hike during the summer.