Visitors warned about increased calving at Exit Glacier

Posted: Friday, June 27, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) Exit Glacier near Seward is extra active these days, and National Park Service officials said huge calving chunks of ice narrowly missed three tourists from India.

Visitors to the retreating glacier should pay attention to warning signs posted in risky areas, said Anne Castellina, superintendent of Kenai Fjords National Park.

The close call occurred June 18, when chunks as large as compact cars fell where the three visitors had just been standing, Castellina said. The glacier also calved on Saturday.

Earlier this week, the glacier was developing a hairline crack near its edge, indicating more calving ahead, Castellina said.

The increased activity is likely due to recent rains that undermined the bottom of the glacier and weakened the top, Castellina said.

In 1987, a California woman was killed when a block of ice sheared off an overhang as she explored the glacier with her husband. The woman was posing for a photograph when the ice fell.

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