China News Agency, San Francisco, September 17. According to US media reports on the 17th, a strong storm is hitting the western state of Alaska in the United States and causing severe flooding in coastal areas that has not been seen in decades.

Power was lost in some communities, and residents were evacuated to higher-lying areas.

  The New York Times quoted the National Weather Service as saying that Typhoon Merbok is expected to move northward and pass through the Bering Sea area on the 16th and 18th.

Flood and high wind warnings have been issued for several areas, including Nome, Alaska.

  As of the morning of the 17th, the water level in places such as Nome was 7 to 9 feet (about 2.1 to 2.7 meters) above normal levels, and the water level in some areas was still rising, the National Oceanic Administration said.

The Alaska Meteorological Department said on a social platform at noon on the 17th that the water level in Nome had reached 10.27 feet (about 3.1 meters) that day, surpassing the records set in 2011 and 2004.

In 1974, the local record for the highest water level was 12 feet (about 3.7 meters).

  Water levels in and around Nome are expected to peak between the afternoon of the 17th and the morning of the 18th.

Some local roads may be closed, and homes, businesses and airports may be flooded, the weather service said.

The Associated Press quoted Nome Mayor John Handland as saying that an emergency shelter had been established there.

  Alaska Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management spokesman Jeremy Zidek said there were no casualties reported in the state.

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has issued a disaster declaration for affected communities.

Officials have warned some places could experience the worst flooding in 50 years, with high water levels likely to take 14 hours to recede.