Italy searches with drones for more victims of avalanche on a glacier

The Mediterranean Basin, which includes southern European countries such as Italy, has been identified by United Nations experts as a region that is likely to suffer from heat waves and water shortages, among other phenomena, associated with climate change.

Drones flew over a hillside in Italy’s Alps On Monday to search for more victims, the day after mountaineers were hit by an avalanche of ice, snow and rocks triggered by the detachment of a massive chunk of a rapidly melting glacier.

At least six people were killed and an undetermined number of missing persons were missing.

Rescuers located six bodies on Sunday and found nine injured survivors.

The focus was on determining how many people might have been on Mount Marmolada and how many were still missing. Sixteen cars remained unclaimed in the area parking lot.

Authorities were trying to locate people through the license plates of the cars. It was unclear how many of the vehicles could belong to the already identified victims or the injured, all of whom were evacuated Sunday by helicopters to hospitals in northeastern Italy.

After temporarily halting the search Sunday night, authorities said there could be about 15 missing, but stressed that the situation could still change.

Conditions on the glacier, which has been melting for decades, were still too unstable to send teams of people and dogs to dig through tons of debris, rescuers said.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi and the director of Civil Protection were scheduled to visit Canazei, a resort town in the Dolomite mountain range that has served as a base for rescuers, on Monday.

Relatives of the victims were also expected to come to the town to identify bodies when rescuers could safely remove them from the mountain.

It was not immediately clear what caused the section of ice to break off, and rush down the slope of the peak at about 300 kilometers (nearly 200 miles) per hour, according to expert estimates.