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Giant iceberg the size of London breaks off from Antarctica near UK research site

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A GIANT iceberg the size of London has broken off from Antarctica near a UK research site.

The 470-square mile ice block snapped from the Brunt Ice Shelf on Friday, perilously near the Halley Research Station.

A survey plane shows the giant iceberg breaking away from Antarctica

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A survey plane shows the giant iceberg breaking away from AntarcticaCredit: AP:Associated Press
The 470-square mile ice block snapped away from the Brunt Ice Shelf on Friday, perilously near the Halley Research Station (pictured)

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The 470-square mile ice block snapped away from the Brunt Ice Shelf on Friday, perilously near the Halley Research Station (pictured)Credit: British Antarctic Survey

The station is empty and has been operating in a reduced role since 2017 over the fears of an incident like this taking place.

Most staff left the British Antarctic Survey base, departing just days after Nasa revealed aerial photos showing an enormous rift in the ice shelf.

Researchers will now monitor the giant berg’s progress because of the risk it could pose in the future to shipping.

Professor Adrian Luckman, from Swansea University, told the BBC: “Although the breaking off of large parts of Antarctic ice shelves is an entirely normal part of how they work, large calving events such as the one detected at the Brunt Ice Shelf on Friday remain quite rare and exciting.”

He added that three long rifts had been developing over the last five years, with researchers expecting “something spectacular was going to happen.”

It is not thought that the berg breaking off is linked to climate change, but is just part of the natural process the shelf goes through.

Nasa has been tracking the cracks on the shelf using Landsat satellites.

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