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An iceberg the size of the London metropolitan area broke off Antarctica near a British science station.

This has long been feared

, scientists announced on Friday.


nearly 1,270-square-kilometer

block of ice

separated from the rest of the ice cap in the early hours of Friday, according to data collected by British instruments installed near the station.

It does not pose a threat.

The 12 people who worked at the Halley VI station, located less than 20 km from the rupture area, were evacuated

by plane in mid-February, the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), a polar research organization that operates installation.

"Our teams have been preparing



for an iceberg to break off the Brunt Ice Shelf,

" explained BAS Director Jane Francis.

The crews monitor the progress of the faults "daily" through "an automated network of high-precision GPS instruments around the station," he explained.

"Wise choice"

These data, which were sent to the University of Cambridge for analysis, allowed the alert to be raised on Friday without anyone being on the scene.

Already in 2017, the BAS had decided to reduce the human presence at this station built in 2012 and move it a few kilometers, fearing that it would end up in an iceberg adrift

due to the melting caused by climate change.

It was a

"wise decision,"

said Simon Garrod, BAS's chief operating officer.

"Our job now is to closely monitor the situation and assess any potential impact of this detachment on the remaining ice shelf," he added.

Several scenarios are possible in the coming months:

"Either the iceberg drifts away or it runs aground

and stays close to the Brunt Ice Shelf," Francis explained.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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