Alaskan towns respond to change as infrastructure collapses
| 05.28.2007 | 08:29:44 | Views: 4534 | ID:
May 28 '07: Local officials along Alaska's coast are struggling to cope with changes in the local weather systems that are causing the melting of the permafrost, collapsed buildings, sinking roads and which are helping rising coastal waters inundate sea communities, the International Herald Tribune reported.
IHT reported that Army Corps of Engineers are planning the construction of sea walls for many communities, but that some villages will not be able to be saved. "Others, like Newtok, have no choice but to abandon their patch of tundra. The corps has estimated that to move Newtok could cost $130 million because of its remoteness, climate and topography," the paper reported.Additionally, tribal officials in Newtok have said that the federal government should pay for their relocation program but because they are not receiving funds, they have to move their village grant by grant, IHT reported. Experts have said examples of Newtok and also with refugees from Hurricane Katrina demonstrate what could happen should coastal communities begin to move inland as sea levels rise. Furthermore, other changes in local weather such as scarcity of water resources, increased summer temperatures and more erratic winter weather could put strains on local emergency response and management operations as communities shift and resources move, officials said.
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