The community of Aklavik, N.W.T., persevered when devastating floods led the government to attempt to relocate it. Now it faces another existential crisis as climate change thaws the permafrost, forever changing the community’s landscape and wildlife.
The issue of moving the public bath to a new place is decided in the village of Nutepelmen of the Egvekinot urban district. Part of the shore, on which the modular structure now stands, was washed away by waves. The social institution was closed for an indefinite period, reports IA "Chukotka".
Part of the village of Rytkuchi remained without electricity for several hours. And in the northernmost city of Russia, strong waves destroyed part of the embankment. The cause was a storm operating on the territory of the city district of Pevek, reports IA "Chukotka".
Melting permafrost and severe erosion have plagued the community for decades. The most recent storm brought waves so fierce, the water claimed roughly half of the 80 or so remaining feet of land that stands between the back end of the school and the edge of the Ningliq river.
Forecasters say they are expecting significant coastal erosion from Utqiagvik to Unalakleet from the second severe-weather event to hit the region in three weeks.
Kivalina has long dealt with climate change-driven erosion. While the village didn’t feel the effects of heavy flooding, residents are wary of a future with heavy autumn storms.
A historically powerful storm slammed into Western Alaska Friday night and into Saturday, bringing major flooding and high winds to a huge swath of coastal communities. By Saturday evening, the state said it had received no reports of injuries or deaths related to the storm. But damage had torn across hundreds of miles of Alaska’s coastline impacting communities all along the way. Alaskans described water flooding homes and roads. Wind tore off roofs. Houses floated off their foundations. Boats sank.
Over the past 24 hours, nearly 0.95 million houses and 0.72 million livestock were flooded while 0.27 million houses were destroyed and 3,116 kilometres of highways and 149 bridges were washed away.