Tag Archives: melting permafrost

High Tide

The village of Kwigillingok

The southwestern village of Kwigillingok, which lies on the Bering Sea coast, within the vast Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, is seeing some of the worst flooding anyone can remember. Flooding is not rare at Kwigillingok, but the severity of Friday’s high tide has reached a new threshold.

Buildings within the village are on pilings, so water did not breach any structures, but time does not appear to be on the village’s side.

The melting permafrost is causing land subsidence, which has made the village very susceptible to flooding, especially at high tide. The flooding then speeds up the melting of the permafrost even more, causing a harsh cycle.

Several homes are slated to be moved due to the threat of erosion, but the entire village is now contemplating a move to higher ground.

Photos credit: Jesse Igkurak/Alaska Public Media