Eroding village of Newtok calls on Obama to supply funds for relocation

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) A western Alaska village is asking President Barack Obama for a disaster declaration to help residents escape ongoing erosion and thawing permafrost brought on by warmer temperatures.

Alaska's Energy Desk reports that the town of Newtok has submitted its request for funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The federal money is typically designated for disasters such as hurricanes and landslides rather than the slow-moving danger of erosion.

The village of a few hundred people has six homes at immediate risk of coastal erosion.

An effort has been underway to relocate residents to another site upriver. But relocation coordinator Romy Cadiente says the village can't afford to make the move.

Newtok is hoping to receive an answer from the Obama administration before the president leaves office Jan. 20.