Climate Refugees Alaska: entire villages disappearing under water

May 14, 2013. The number of refugees who were forced to leave their homes due to climate change, growing inexorably. In Alaska, entire villages were threatened with extinction — localities are covered with water, and their inhabitants flee from their villages, becoming the first American "climate refugees."

Formally, the refugees are considered people who have left their homelands due to extraordinary circumstances such as war, persecution or harassment. But because of climatic changes.

In the meantime, more and more people become "climate refugees": Alaska entire villages to flee their homes to escape climate change.

Newtok residents, the village in western Alaska, near the Bering Strait, which separates the state of Russia, experiencing a disaster for many years. The climate is changing. Due to coastal erosion ground quickly turns into water. After all, the town may simply wash off with water, and the local ancient way of life disappear.

Newtok is located along the river Ninglik, which then empties into the Bering Sea. Spring break Ninglik turns into a powerful and dangerous element.

"Soon there will be water everywhere" — locals say.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, assessing the situation in the village, has prepared a report: projected, the highest point in the country will be underwater by 2017.

If people will not move to a new location in time, the village will disappear, as will disappear and its inhabitants.

At the time, the U.S. government forced the indigenous nomadic Native start sedentary, do farming and send their children to school. That's what came Newtok.

But by the 90th it had become apparent that Newtok, like hundreds of other settlements in this remote region, losing their land at a dangerous pace. Almost all the villages are located along rivers or the sea, and they all face a common problem.

The way out for the villagers could be moving to a new location. This proposal was supported by all residents of Newtok and approved by the government.

The new location is located only 14, 5 km from the present village. But such a move is estimated to cost the northern residents more than $ 130 million

While underway to collect the necessary funds, which fell on the shoulders of the local population, while bureaucratic problems are solved, the years pass. But it never got off the ground.

The local old-timers claim that the climate is indeed changing: "The snow is now falling at a different time. Melt it's too late. Late arrivals migratory birds. Everything is changing. Global warming — it's reality. " And the residents of Newtok have less time.

One young couple trying to solve the problem. Previously, they were discussing moving to a new place, away from other people, and were willing to live in a tent just to get away from the endless stress and finally be safe.

But now the mood has changed in the village. All the men are trained professional builders and are preparing themselves to defend their homes.

In spite of everything, the people of this God-forsaken corner of the trust in the best and hope that the U.S. authorities will not forget about them. "They did not throw us here" — say people Newtok.

Source: RT

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