BERLIN — Part of a glacier in the Swiss Alps has broken off and tumbled onto a glacier below after some 220 people in a small nearby town were evacuated as a precaution.

Authorities ordered a partial evacuation of Saas-Grund on Saturday after radar surveillance of the Trift glacier, above the southern town, showed the glacier’s snout moving at a rate of up to 130 centimeters (51 inches) per day.

Its pace accelerated during the night, and Valais canton (state) police said a large part of the snout broke off on Sunday morning. The debris tumbled onto another glacier below and didn’t reach inhabited areas.

Police say the evacuated residents are free to return to home, but an area immediately under the Trift glacier will remain closed to walkers.

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