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news | by Michael Darragh | March 15, 2004 at 07:30 PM | comments (0) | trackback (0)

Gargantuan blocks of ice sheered off the front wall of Argentina's Perito Moreno glacier, collapsing with a roar into a Patagonian lake - a spectacle not seen in 16 years.

Thousands of tourists applauded as the 70-metre-tall wall of ice crashed down.

The 3,000-year-old glacier known as the "White Giant" is one of Argentina's leading tourist attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It spans a swath of southern Patagonia, ending abruptly in a translucent blue wall of ice overlooking Lago Argentino.

The glacier forms a natural ice dam spanning part of the lake. But water pressure had been building in recent weeks, forcing a large section of ice to collapse.

Perito Moreno is the main attraction in Argentina's National Glaciers Park near El Calafate, some 3,200km southwest of Buenos Aires.

Located near the southernmost tip of South America, some 63 Patagonian glaciers - some blinding white and others a deep blue - cover a remote region totalling 16,900 square kilometres or river lakes and fjords. (via The Sydney Morning Herald)

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