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Huge iceberg drifts close to Greenland village prompting tsunami fears

Related Story: The land of ice embracing climate change

An iceberg the size of a hill has drifted close to a tiny village on the western coast of Greenland, prompting fears it could swamp the settlement with a tsunami if it splits.

Key points:

  • A danger zone close to the coast has been evacuated
  • Authorities have moved a search and rescue helicopter closer to the remote village
  • Last summer four people died after waves swamped a settlement in north-western Greenland

Video posted on social media on Thursday shows the iceberg towering over houses on a promontory in the village of Innaarsuit, when a massive chunk of ice slides off into the water sending big waves towards the village.

A danger zone close to the coast has been evacuated and people have been moved further up a steep slope where the settlement lies, a Greenland police spokesman said.

"We can feel the concern among the residents. We are used to big icebergs, but we haven't seen such a big one before," Susanna Eliassen, a member of the village council in Innaarsuit, told local broadcaster KNR.

A storage tank is seen as an iceberg floats near the Innaarsuit settlement.

Ms Eliassen told Danish newspaper Sermitsiaq nobody was staying unnecessarily close to the beach and children had been told to stay in areas away from the coast.

The Government and police are on high alert and have moved a search and rescue helicopter closer to the remote village of about 170 inhabitants.

Last summer, four people died after waves swamped a settlement in north-western Greenland.

In June, New York University researchers released a video showing an iceberg breaking away from a glacier in eastern Greenland.

An iceberg six kilometres long breaks off glacier in eastern Greenland in June.

Reuters/ABC

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