A massive iceberg that broke into the Antarctic in August 2016 has forced some residents to evacuate their homes, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
As of Friday, the entire island chain had been submerged.
“People have to find shelter in their homes or go outside,” said Peter Lefebvre, a member of the Antarctic team at the Australian Antarctic Division.
“There is no way to put it in terms of [exiting] the Antarctic.
You just get to the point where it is too dangerous to go out.”
In a series of photos from the event, Lefegre can be seen trying to remove a piece of ice from the seafloor that was about two metres (6 feet) thick and nearly as long as a football field.
Lefevre and his team of scientists were able to make the most of their limited resources by setting up a temporary shelter on a beach in the town of Cape Ladera in the southern Antarctic Peninsula, where they were able access and maintain an uninterrupted supply of food and water.
“Our main objective was to get people to the coast, which is about five kilometres [three miles] away,” said Lefebe.
“We had about 10 people in our boat who were using the food as a prop for their food and as an extra source of water.
Lefeebvre and his crew managed to stay afloat until they reached a point where the iceberg was no longer a threat. “
But we had a good night’s sleep after that.”
Lefeebvre and his crew managed to stay afloat until they reached a point where the iceberg was no longer a threat.
“After about three hours, we were able start pulling up on the ice and seeing the light of the moon,” he said.
“The ice was about three metres thick at that point, so we could have easily pulled off and left.”
It took another five hours for Lefecres team to reach their destination, and the island was only left underwater about six kilometres (three miles) later.
“A large iceberg in Antarctica can be quite a destructive event,” Lefechre said.
The expedition to the island has now been extended to another 30 days and, as of now, the team has found a permanent home on the southern coast of the continent.
“It’s very hard to get to these places, especially with so much ice on the sea floor,” Lofebvre said.
“[But] this has really been a beautiful experience, a real challenge, and I think it’s going to be a really interesting one to see how we survive in this new world.”