US & Canada

Alaska mauled by huge Arctic snowstorm

An Arctic snowstorm has hit the western coast of Alaska in what could be one of the worst storms on record in the area.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has reports of roofs blowing off in the US state's coastal city of Nome, and near-hurricane force winds.

Some areas have been evacuated and there are no reports of injuries.

The "superstorm" from the north-western Bering Sea is being compared to a November 1974 blizzard that was the strongest on record to hit the area.

'Armageddon'

Wednesday's extreme weather was described by the NWS as an "unusually severe and life-threatening storm".

Forecasters predicted up to 18in (46cm) of snow and sustained winds of 60mph (97km/h) with gusts as high as 80mph.

The storm could impact an area as large as Colorado and generate offshore waves of 40ft (12m).

Elmer Davis, a former police officer who lives in the western village of Shishmaref, told the Anchorage Daily News: "I don't get scared too easy and this sounds like Armageddon."

Meteorologists said storm surge could also cause serious flooding on Wednesday.