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10,000+ Flee as 'Life-Threatening' Hurricane Willa Menaces Mexico
As of late Monday night, the storm was 80 miles west of Las Islas Marias islands opposite the state of Nayarit. It is expected to be one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to strike Mexico from the Pacific, CNN reported.
"Let's not play the macho. Let's not act like superheroes," Nayarit Gov. Antonio Echevarria said, according to Reuters. "It's a very strong hurricane, very potent, and we don't want any tragedies." Nayarit said he had closed schools and evacuated more than 10,000 people.
The storm is currently blowing at 130 miles per hour and expected to bring an "extremely dangerous" storm surge to southwestern Mexico and rainfall of six to 12 inches, with some local areas receiving as much as 18. The rain could produce "life-threatening" flooding and landslides, The National Hurricane Center said in its most recent forecast.
A hurricane warning is in effect for Las Islas Marias and along the Pacific coast from San Blas in the south to Mazitlan in the north, around where it is first expected to hit.
"People are really scared," Mazitlan gas station attendant Zulema Pardo told Reuters, as customers stocked up on water and gasoline and emptied the shelves of bread. "People are crazy and worked up."
Willa formed Saturday as a tropical storm and grew into a Category Five storm Monday before weakening into a Category Four, CNN reported. The waters off of Mexico are one to two degrees Fahrenheit warmer than average for late October.
Willa is also notable for its raw strength. It will be one of the strongest hurricanes to hit Mexico's Pacific coast and comes three years after the strongest, Category Five Hurricane Patricia, made landfall in Jalisco.
Along with Tropical Storm Vincente, a weaker system moving south of Willa that is expected to make landfall as a tropical depression, also on Tuesday, it will make this hurricane season the most active ever for the northeast Pacific in terms of "Accumulated Cyclone Energy," a metric that accounts for both the number of storms and their intensity.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has asked the National System of Civil Protection to take all necessary measures to protect those in the path of both storms.
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Ethics investigations have been opened into the conduct of senior Trump appointees at the nation's top environmental agencies.
The two investigations focus on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and six high-ranking officials in the Department of Interior (DOI), The Hill reported Tuesday. Both of them involve the officials' former clients or employers.
"This is demonstrative of the failures at the very top of this administration to set an ethical tone," Campaign Legal Center Ethics Counsel Delaney Marsco told The Washington Post of the DOI investigation. "When people come to work for government, they're supposed to work on behalf of the public. It's a betrayal of the public trust when senior political appointees seem to give privileged access to their former employers or former clients."
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We've known for more than 50 years that smoking cigarettes comes with health hazards, but it turns out those discarded butts are harmful for the environment, too. Filtered cigarette butts, although small, contain dozens of chemicals, including arsenic and benzene. These toxins can leach into the ground or water, creating a potentially deadly situation for nearby birds, fish and other wildlife.
By Wenonah Hauter
Five years ago this week, an emergency manager appointed by then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made the devastating decision to save money by switching Flint's water supply over from Detroit's water system to the Flint River. Seen as a temporary fix, the new water supply was not properly treated. High levels of lead leached from the old pipes, poisoning a generation of Flint's children, and bacteria responsible for an outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease killed more than a dozen residents.
Did you know that more than a third of food is wasted or thrown away every year? And that only 25 percent of it would be enough to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world? That's why today is Stop Food Waste Day, a chance to reflect on what you can do to waste less of the food you buy.