AP

AP PHOTOS: In India, river erosion engulfs villages

Nov 6, 2022, 6:23 AM | Updated: 8:30 pm

Ranajit Mandal, 35, the priest of a temple of Hindu goddess Durga stands with his son watching the ...

Ranajit Mandal, 35, the priest of a temple of Hindu goddess Durga stands with his son watching the temple being washed away by the river Brahmaputra at Murkata village, northeastern Assam state, India, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022. "The river has washed away everything, and we have no place to go back to now," he said. "Even though we are staying nearby now, if this continues, we'll have no choice but to move away from here, away from the river." (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

(AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

GAUHATI, India (AP) — In the 12 years that he has been the priest of a small temple by the mighty Brahmaputra, Ranajit Mandal had never witnessed the river’s fury like this. Not only the temple, but the 50 homes in his native Murkata village were washed away in a matter of days.

“I feel like the earth has given way under my feet now. I have been the temple’s priest ever since it was built, I feel really lost now,” Mandal said.

Mandal, who is also a farmer and father of two, says the erosion of the river means his family has been deprived of income, relying instead on government assistance. “Each family was given 5,000 rupees ($60) but that is hardly anything compared to what we have lost.”

Murkata village in the northeastern state of Assam is in one of the most climate-vulnerable regions of India, according to a report by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, a New Delhi-based climate think tank.

With India ranked the seventh most vulnerable nation to climate change by the non-governmental group Germanwatch, Mandal and other residents of Murkata are on the front lines of the crisis.

The Brahmaputra has always changed course and reclaimed farmland and villages, but the frequency and severity of the river’s destruction has increased in recent years.

A 2020 study by New York-based Earth Institute, Columbia University, found that the river’s potential for catastrophic flooding as temperatures rise was being underestimated by nearly 40%.

“The river has washed away everything, and we have no place to go back to now,” Mandal said. “Even though we are staying nearby now, if this continues, we’ll have no choice but to move away from here, away from the river.”

___

Associated Press climate and environmental coverage receives support from several private foundations. See more about AP’s climate initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Image:A portrait of Officer Vancouver Police Department officer Donald Sahota is displayed as he is...

The Associated Press

Man convicted of murder in death of Vancouver police officer shot by deputy

A Yakima man was found guilty of murder for his role in the death of a Vancouver police officer who was shot by a sheriff's deputy in error.

1 day ago

Image:The headquarters of Live Nation is shown June 29, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California. The Jus...

Associated Press

Government sues Ticketmaster owner and asks court to break up company’s monopoly on live events

The DOJ has accused Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation Entertainment of running an illegal monopoly over live events in America.

4 days ago

Image: Ambulances are seen at the airport where a London-Singapore flight that encountered severe t...

Associated Press

World news roundup: Man dies after turbulence; Iran funerals; Israel media law

A Singapore Airlines flight hit severe turbulence over the Indian Ocean and descended 6,000 feet in a span of about three minutes.

6 days ago

Image: Bruce Nordstrom, left, and Jeannie Nordstrom attend the Nordstrom NYC Flagship Opening Party...

Associated Press

Bruce Nordstrom, who helped grow family-led department store chain, dies at 90

Bruce Nordstrom, a retail executive who helped expand his family's Pacific Northwest chain into an upscale national brand, has died.

7 days ago

Image:Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime min...

Associated Press

World news roundup: Netanyahu arrest warrant; Assange can appeal; UK blood scandal

The International Criminal Court said it is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Benjamin Netanyahu.

7 days ago

Image: In this photo released by the Iranian Presidency Office, President Ebrahim Raisi attends a m...

Associated Press

Iran president and others found dead at helicopter crash site, state media says

Iran President Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s foreign minister and others have been found dead at the site of a helicopter crash Monday.

7 days ago

AP PHOTOS: In India, river erosion engulfs villages