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PHOTOS: Selawik, the Venice of Northwest Alaska

Flooding in the Northwest Alaska village of Selawik in June 2011.
Lorraine Ticket photo
A huge thermocarst located upstream from Selawik.
Yuri Gorokhovich photo
Thawing permafrost is causing rapid erosion of the river bank along the Selawik River. Daniel Foster's home is threatened by bank erosion.
Photo courtesy Michael Brubaker
Across Selawik, permafrost thaw is causing the ground to sink which can make for a tall step to many homes.
Photo courtesy Michael Brubaker
Jackie Snyder shows how thawing permafrost has cause the water line to sink.
Photo courtesy Michael Brubaker
Jackie Snyder uses a caribou skin to insulate the broken connection in the pipe near his home in Selawik.
Photo courtesy Michael Brubaker
Stress from sinking supports can cause separation of utility lines, like this water connection box. Freeze-ups are common in Selawik.
Photo courtesy Michael Brubaker
Alaska Dispatch

Melting ice cellars and rotting whale meat, the arrival of beaver fever in a once-pristine land, and water supplies that might go dry are just a few of the health risks posed by climate change in the Arctic.

Now, in a newly released fifth report examining looming threats to villages, the Center for Climate and Health at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium zeroes in on Selawik, a village of 830 about 70 miles southeast of Kotzebue that's said to be sinking as permafrost thaws.

The Inupiat village has been called the "Venice of Northwest Alaska" because of the settling ground. Stairs to some houses no longer reach the ground. Shifting water pipes break more easily. And some homes tilt so much toilet bowls can't fill with water for flushing, forcing families to return to the old-fashioned honeybucket.

Read the full story here.