TIME natural disaster

See the Devastation of Washington State’s Wildfire From Above

The worst fire of the season devastated entire neighborhoods, as the state struggles with an ongoing drought

TIME natural disaster

See the Biggest California Wildfire This Year

The 11,000-acre 'Lake Fire' continues to ravage the San Bernardino National Forest

A wildfire that sparked Wednesday afternoon near Big Bear Lake, Calif. had grown to 11,000 acres as of Friday morning, according to a government website.

The fire is the worst of the year, the Los Angeles Times reported. Wind and the dry undergrowth due to drought conditions in the area have contributed to the blaze’s rapid spread through sections of the San Bernardino National Forest. The fire is currently 10% contained, with fire engines, helicopters, air tankers and more than 500 respondents combating the spreading flames.

Hundreds in the area have been evacuated, but government website InciWeb stated that no structures had been destroyed as of Friday. The fire is currently spreading further inland to the south and east.

The fire’s cause remains under investigation.

TIME natural disaster

Thousands Evacuated in Indonesia After Volcano Starts Spewing Ash and Toxic Gas

More people expected to flee in the coming days

Thousands of people living in the vicinity of a volcano on Indonesia’s island of Sumatra have been evacuated from their homes after it began erupting.

Mount Sinabung started to flare up over the weekend, sending hot ash and gas — known as pyroclastic flows — gushing down its slopes, reports the BBC. No injuries have been reported.

Authorities raised the alert level on June 2 after detecting a sharp increase in activity at Sinabung. In the past month, at least 3,000 villagers, including 1,200 on Monday, have been ordered from their homes and officials expect thousands more people will need to be evacuated in the coming days.

The volcano had been dormant for more than four centuries but roused back to life in 2010 and has been highly active since. In February 2014, at least 14 people were killed as pyroclastic flows engulfed nearby villages.

[BBC]

TIME animals

Texas Grandmother Reunited With Poodle Trapped at Home During Floods

Lena Givens was unable to get to her house where "Tinkerbell" was locked in a kennel

Lena Givens, 84, was at a Houston Rockets game Monday night when the skies opened, submerging multiple counties in record-breaking rains.

The resulting flood that has killed at least 18 in Texas and Oklahoma left the grandmother stranded and unable to get to her house where her poodle Tinkerbell was locked in a kennel.

Just before the end of game, a message flashed on the scoreboard warning fans to stay put due to severe weather outside, NBC News reports.

“I stayed in the lobby of the hotel for at least probably three or four hours,” she told Houston’s KRPC.

When she was able to call a car to get home, she found the road to her neighborhood was impassable. Givens worried about her beloved pet that had been trapped in her flooded house for over 12 hours.

Her grandson Brian Gardner was able to borrow a friend’s boat to reach Givens’s home and look for Tinkerbell.

After hours of worrying, Givens finally got the good news she was hoping for – her dog was safe.

“[Tinkerbell”] was floating on a chair in the living area. She got out of the kennel somehow and she was floating in a chair,” she told the news station.

Watch video of Givens and Tinkerbell reunion below.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME natural disaster

Texas Woman Rescues 7 People from Flood

"Fear wasn't going to serve anyone in that moment"

Malaika Muhammad was home alone on Monday night when the flood that killed at least three people struck her neighborhood of South Houston, Texas.

“I was looking outside at the weather in astonishment,” she says, when she noticed a car stopped on the freeway exit ramp near her home.

“When I looked back again the car was flashing its lights and that’s when I realized there was somebody in it,” she tells PEOPLE. As Muhammad watched the water level around the car rise, she noticed someone in the car waving. Then, she says, “I could tell this is someone who really needs help.”

Read the rest at at People.com

TIME natural disaster

Witness the Aftermath of Severe Floods in Texas

Texas expanded its state of disaster declaration on Monday following unprecedented torrential rains over the weekend. On Tuesday, more than 30 million Americans were warned to brace for extreme weather, including flooding, hail and tornadoes

TIME natural disaster

7 States at Risk as Unprecedented Floods Hit Texas

More than 80,000 people were without power in Houston

Flash-flood watches and warnings were issued across seven states early Tuesday as an unprecedented downpour of torrential rain triggered “extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening” conditions in Houston.

More than 30 million Americans were told to brace for dangerous thunderstorms — including flooding, hail and possible tornadoes — as meteorologists warned the weather that has centered on Texas and Oklahoma since Saturday could expand to other areas.

In Houston, more than 80,000 people were without power and the flood waters closed roads including Interstate 10 and Interstate 45. Houston was among 24 counties where Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster on Monday…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME natural disaster

Homecoming Queen Dies in Texas Floods on Way Home From Prom

Alyssa Ramirez's parents went to search for her but to no avail

A homecoming queen on her way home from from her prom was killed by floodwaters in Devine, Texas, about 35 miles southwest of San Antonio.

Alyssa Ramirez, who was also a cheerleader who played tennis and volleyball, spent Saturday night at her prom and was driving home Sunday when floodwaters swept her car off the road, according to NBC affiliate WOAI and a funeral home.

There were no barricades on the road and Ramirez’s car stalled out in the high water a few miles from her home, Roberta Ramirez, Alyssa’s aunt, told the station…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME natural disaster

Mom, Kids Among 12 Missing in Texas and Oklahoma Flash Flood

The father was found 12 miles down the river

Three people were confirmed killed, two in Oklahoma and one in Texas, after severe flash flooding this weekend.

Another 12 are missing, including a mother and her two children.

Laura McComb, daughter Leighton, 4, and son Andrew, 6, haven’t been seen since Sunday, according to WHNT.

They were reportedly staying at a river house in the town of Wimberley, Texas, when a wall of water swept the home and family of four, including husband Jonathan, away.

After being found 12 miles down the river, Jonathan is in the hospital recovering from several broken bones and a collapsed lung.

According to Fox News, the waters rose so quickly in the town that 1,000 people were forced to evacuate and hundreds of homes were destroyed.

“We do have whole streets with maybe one or two houses left on them and the rest are just slabs,” Hays County emergency management coordinator Kharley Smith told CBS about the town of Wimberley.

In Oklahoma, Capt. Jason Farley drowned after being swept away during a water rescue, the Claremore Fire Department confirmed. He had been a 19-year veteran of the department.

The Blanco River crested above 40 feet, more than triple its flood stage of 13 feet, NPR reports. Rescuers used pontoon boats and a helicopter to pull people out.

This article originally appeared on People.

TIME Colombia

A Baby Survived the Colombia Landslide That Killed 12 Members of His Family

A soldier shovels mud from a house damaged by a mudslide in Salgar, in Colombia's northwestern state of Antioquia, May 19, 2015.
Luis Benavides—Associated Press A soldier shovels mud from a house damaged by a mudslide in Salgar, in Colombia's northwestern state of Antioquia, May 19, 2015.

He was found alive in the mud more than a mile from his home

An 11-month-old baby has survived a huge mudslide in Colombia that killed at least 78 people.

The child’s mother and at least 11 other relatives perished when a flash flood swept through the town of Salgar in northwest Antioquia province Monday, destroying dozens of homes, reports the Associated Press.

Rescuers found Jhosep Diaz lying facedown in the mud more than a mile from his home. Doctors say the infant was cold and hypothermic but believe he survived because he was sleeping in a padded crib when he was swept away.

“He was unconscious and didn’t open his little eyes but was breathing,” Dr. Jesus Antonio Guisao told AP on Wednesday.

The mudslide was the country’s worst natural disaster since the earthquake of 1999 that killed about 1,000 people.

According to the Red Cross, between 50 and 80 people are believed missing, but authorities say there is no chance of finding any more survivors.

The boy’s grandfather Alvaro Hernandez is expected to gain custody. “My grandson’s survival is a miracle,” he said.

[AP]

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