Powerful winds are hitting western Alaska, causing huge waves and flooding that has swept away homes, the U.S. Weather Service (NWS) announced Saturday.
“Remnants of Typhoon Merbok will hit western Alaska…over the weekend with extreme waves, hurricane force gusts, coastal erosion and heavy rain,” they said on Twitter.
“Flooding will get worse,” they added.
“This is without a doubt the strongest storm this early in the fall that has been seen in the Bering Sea in the last 50 years,” Rick Thoman, a climate scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, told AFP.
In the coastal village of Golovin, “water surrounds the school, houses are flooded, at least two houses are floating,” described the municipal services of Fairbanks, the second-largest city in Alaska.
Videos posted on social media show extensive damage.
The National Weather Service describes “furious seas” along the coast around Nome, with waves of 3.3 meters.
Rarely strong winds of up to 145 km/h have been recorded, according to the NWS, which predicts even stronger ones.
The flood warning will remain in effect until 10 p.m. Saturday (6 a.m. GMT Sunday) in southern coastal areas and until 8:30 a.m. The weather service said on Facebook on Sunday in northern regions, where the storm is headed.