On 6 August 2020, the municipality of Courmayeur decided to evacuate the area, after glaciologists announced that the Planpincieux glacier is in danger of collapse.
15 permanent residents and 50 tourists had to leave their homes in Val Ferret, the hamlet beneath the Planpincieux glacier.
On 9 August 2020, the Italian authorities have announced that a drop in the risk of collapse was registered and that the evacuees were free to return to their place of residence or vacation.
With an elevation ranging from 3,660 m to 2,345 m (12,007 ft to 7,693 ft), the Planpincieux glacier is located on the Italian side of the Mont-Blanc massif, on the southern side of the Grandes Jorasses peak.
On 5 August 2020, experts from the Fondazione Montagne Sicura (Safe Mountains Foundation) observed a fracture in the Planpincieux glacier and declared that 500,000 cubic metres (17.6 million cubic feet) of ice was at risk of collapse.
In the afternoon of 8 August 2020, the bulletin of the Fondazione Montagne Sicura (Safe Mountains Foundation) confirmed a drop in the level of risk based on the monitoring of the speed of the glacier front and its water flow.
As the Planpincieux glacier no longer threatens to collapse, the Courmayeur municipality allowed the evacuees to return to their place of residence.
Moreover, the municipal road to Val Ferret from the intersection of the hamlet of Meyen became accessible to the inhabitants of the valley.
“The preventive civil protection actions implemented were necessary to ensure the safety and security of people and guests in Courmayeur”, explains Courmayeur town hall.
"The evacuation was, therefore, necessary and could not be postponed since, in the context of a feared glaciological risk, civil protection actions are based on the forecast of the highest risk and, therefore, on the possible risk of the section of 500,000 cubic meters of the glacier to fall", continues Courmayeur town hall.
Source @Le Dauphine
As a reminder, global warming, particularly rising temperature, is highly affecting glaciers from all over the world. In September 2019, a block of 250,000 cubic metres or 8.8 million cubic feet of ice from the Planpincieux glacier was at risk of collapse.