(CBS) — An iceberg four miles wide has broken off from a glacier in easternand scientists have captured the dramatic event on video. New York University professor David Holland, an expert in atmospheric and ocean science, told The Associated Press that “this is the largest event we’ve seen in over a decade in Greenland.”
A June 22 video of the incident was taken by his wife, Denise Holland of NYU’s Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. They had camped by the Helheim Glacier for weeks to collect data to better project sea level changes due to global warming.
Holland said Wednesday that the time-lapse video, which is speeded up 20 times, shows “3 percent of the annual ice loss of Greenland occur in 30 minutes.”
“It sounded like rockets going off,” he said, describing it as “a very complex, chaotic, noisy event.”
While the couple is studying Greenland, he said that “the real concern is in, where everything is so big the stakes are much higher.”
In northwestern Greenland, another large iceberg was apparently grounded on the sea floor near the small village of Innaarsuit, which has a population of 169.
“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.
“All the people in the danger area have been evacuated to a building that is further up in the village,” Davidsen said. “The evacuation happened only because the iceberg is so close to the village.”
Innaarsuit is located about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) north of Nuuk, Greenland’s capital and largest city.
Earthquakes and tsunamis have created major floods in Greenland in past years.