The death toll has climbed to more than 1,420 people since Friday, when the 7.5 magnitude earthquake and the 18-foot tsunami it triggered struck the island of Sulawesi.
More than 600 homes have been destroyed by lava flows from Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii since erupting more than a month ago, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim told Reuters.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Zachary Toliver
Sometimes humans forget that animals have feelings, too, and cause them to suffer. Just consider some Florida beachgoers who were filmed taking photos of and selfies with an injured hammerhead shark, who an expert says most likely died after the incident.
On Tuesday, a trial over Minnesota's $5 billion lawsuit against manufacturer 3M Company—the biggest environmental lawsuit in state history—was set to begin with jury selection.
But on that very same day, the Maplewood-based manufacturer agreed to an $850 million settlement, finally putting an end to eight years of litigation over the water pollution case.
As six large wildfires and several smaller fires burn across Southern California, firefighters, first responders and everyday Americans are stepping up—and risking their lives—to rescue fellow citizens, homes, buildings and animals from the blazes.
About 5,700 firefighters are battling the region's brushfires around the clock in intense heat and grueling conditions.
In fact, the Golden State has been experiencing a higher frequency of intense wildfires in recent years, with 13 of the largest 20 wildfires in state history breaking out since 2000.
As of Wednesday, the fast-moving blazes—aided by high winds and low humidity—have burned nearly 170,000 acres and destroyed at least 3,500 homes and commercial structures since the outbreak started Sunday.
By Reynard Loki
The friendship between the U.S. and France goes way back—all the way to 1775, when France secretly began sending supplies to the Americans during the Revolutionary War. In fact, France was the first ally of the new U.S. (Of course, it helped that France was pretty angry at Great Britain over the territory it lost during the French and Indian War).
Now, almost 250 years later, President Trump has ruffled some French feathers by pulling the U.S. out of the Paris agreement, signed by nearly 200 nations to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. But newly minted French president Emmanuel Macron wasn't about to let Trump's pullout ruin a good friendship—something that was made abundantly clear when the two leaders met in Paris last week.
We probably can't blame the earthquake that hit California's Napa Valley this weekend on climate change. But it's one more thing that the beleaguered residents of the so-called "Golden State" have to deal with. And while we can't do much to address the fact that the state sits on geographical fault lines, other issues have a human element.
The magnitude 6.0 earthquake, which occurred early Sunday morning, is the largest to hit the state since 1989's Loma Prieta quake. It injured several hundred people.
The earthquake is understandably dominating the headlines coming out of California, while the fallout from the state's record drought is being reported almost daily.
In East Porterville in the rural San Joaquin, several hundred homes have no tap water because their wells have dried up. That's due to an exceptionally low flow in the Tule River, which fills the wells.
Volunteers and county workers are delivering bottled water provided by the county to these homes, but those deliveries are only a stop-gap solution. The area's high poverty rate makes it difficult for residents to affordable ongoing solutions, such as digging new wells.
Tulare County has been hearing from residents about their diminished water supply since February, but the trickle of calls has become a gusher. The Fresno Bee reports that nearly 1,000 people are now impacted by the dry wells.
“I grew up here. I’ve never seen this many people out of water,” Tulare County District Five Supervisor Mike Ennis told the Fresno Bee.
Up in the state's northwest corner in Trinity County, already threatened by salmon die-offs due to low water flow in the Salmon and Klamath rivers, a wildfire that started late Sunday afternoon is threatening homes in Weaverville. About 200 homes were evacuated as crews worked to build containment lines that had about 25 percent of the fire under control by this morning. But local officials said they were concerned about gusting winds and dry conditions causing the fire to flare up again.
The Redding, California newspaper the Redding Searchlight reports that four other wildfires are currently burning tens of thousands of acres in the area as well.
TckTckTck, the Global Call for Climate Action reports:
High temperatures and drought in the American West, both linked to climate change, lead to the dry conditions and tree deaths that enable more frequent and intense wildfires. The American wildfire season is getting longer, and the number of very large fires has doubled in California and many other states since the 1970s.
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