Disaster

California Wildfires: At Least 63 Dead, 600+ Missing

The Associated Press reports: At least 63 people are now dead from a Northern California wildfire, and officials say they have a missing persons list with 631 names on it in an ever-evolving accounting of the victims of the nation’s deadliest wildfire in a century. The high number of missing people probably includes some who fled the blaze and don’t …

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CALIFORNIA: Death Toll From Wildfires Rises To 48

The New York Times reports: It is a measure of how frequent and deadly wildfires have become in California that identifying badly burned remains has become an area of expertise. Once again cadaver dogs have been summoned, forensic dental experts will follow and coroners and anthropologists are using their experience from previous wildfires to locate the victims. At least 48 …

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Wildfires Force Mandatory Evacuation Of Malibu, Caitlyn Jenner’s House Destroyed, Cher “Worried And Afraid”

Forbes reports: Residents of the city of Malibu, Calif. are under mandatory evacuation orders Friday as the Woolsley Fire heads for populated areas along the Pacific Coast Highway (aka U.S. Route 101) and the Pacific Ocean. The Woolsey Fire jumped the 101 freeway early Friday as one of three massive wildfires that ignited in the Golden State in just the …

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AGAIN: Multiple Wildfires Spreading Across California

The Sacramento Bee reports: An uncontrolled wildfire raced across the Butte County community of Paradise Thursday afternoon, destroying a large swath of downtown and sending residents fleeing on foot past burning homes, businesses and a local church. “The whole town’s on fire,” said Scott Lotter, a town councilman who evacuated with his family. “It’s pretty grim.” By Thursday evening, the …

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FLORIDA: Death Toll Rises As Searchers Find Bodies

The Associated Press reports: Search-and-rescue teams began finding bodies in and around Mexico Beach, the ground-zero town nearly obliterated by Hurricane Michael, an official said Friday as the scale of the storm’s fury became ever clearer. But he gave no details on the number of dead. The death toll across the South stood at 13, not counting any victims discovered …

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Cuomo: Limo In Fatal Crash Had Failed Inspection

The Albany Times-Union reports: Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the limousine involved in Saturday’s deadly crash in Schoharie failed an inspection last month. Cuomo, talking to reporters Monday at New York’s Columbus Day Parade, also said the driver did not have the proper license to operate the vehicle. The limousine failed a state inspection last month and was not supposed to …

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NORTH CAROLINA: Wilmington Cut Off By Flooding

USA Today reports: Storm-weary residents of North Carolina struggled Monday to loosen the grip of Florence, the lingering killer that has closed more than 100 roads, cut off power to almost 500,000 homes and businesses and essentially cut off the city of Wilmington from the world. At least 17 people have died in the wreckage of the hurricane-turned-tropical depression that …

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BRAZIL: Millions Of Irreplaceable Artifacts Destroyed In National Museum Fire, Officials Blame Funding Issues

The BBC reports: Officials in Brazil have blamed lack of funding for a huge fire that has ravaged the country’s National Museum. One of the largest anthropology and natural history collections in the Americas was almost totally destroyed in Sunday’s fire in Rio de Janeiro. There had been complaints about the dilapidated state of the museum. “We never had adequate …

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Zinke Blames “Environmental Terrorist Groups” For California’s Wildfires (Also Climate Change, Maybe)

NBC News reports: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s claim that “environmental terrorist groups” created the conditions that enabled California’s wildfires triggered substantial blowback from environmental groups, who chastised the Trump administration official for downplaying the role of climate change in the blazes. Zinke said in a radio interview with Breitbart News that environmental extremists were preventing the government from properly managing …

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ITALY: Dozens Feared Dead In Highway Bridge Collapse

Reuters reports: A motorway bridge collapsed on Tuesday over the northern Italian port city of Genoa, killing dozens of people according to the local ambulance service, in what the transport minister said was likely to be “an immense tragedy”. A section of the bridge crashed down from a height of about 50 meters over a river and some railroad tracks …

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Puerto Rico Formally Hikes Hurricane Death Toll By 20X

The Hill reports: The Puerto Rican government acknowledged in a new report in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria that more than 1,400 people likely died on the island because of the storm, roughly 20 times the previous number that had been provided. The government on Thursday published a report titled “Transformation and Innovation in the Wake of Devastation,” which outlines …

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California Wildfire Now Largest In State History [VIDEO]

The Los Angeles Times reports: The Mendocino Complex fire is now the largest wildfire in modern California history, scorching more than 283,000 acres and frustrating firefighters as it continues to leap across natural and man-made barriers in Lake County. The Ranch and River fires, which make up the complex fire, had grown to 283,800 acres as of Monday evening, according …

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CALIFORNIA: Thousands Ordered To Flee As Raging Wildfires Create Own “Pyrocumulus” Weather Systems

The San Francisco Chronicle reports: As more than a dozen major fires roar across the state of California, some of them have burned so fiercely that they’re creating their own weather systems. Massive pyrocumulus clouds have formed over the Carr, Ferguson, Cranston and Mendocino Complex fires burning in four different parts of the state (Shasta County, near Yosemite, Riverside County, …

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MISSOURI: At Least 13 Dead In Duck Boat Capsizing

ABC News reports: A tourist duck boat capsized in a lake near Branson, Missouri amidst powerful storms, killing at least 13 people, including children, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said. The Thursday night accident also injured seven people and has left six others missing, officials said. A total of 29 passengers and two crew members were on board the amphibious …

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LONDON: Deadly High Rise Fire Started In Fridge, Tower Insulation Failed, Manslaughter Charges Possible

The BBC reports: The Grenfell Tower fire in London started in a fridge-freezer, and outside cladding and insulation failed safety tests, police say. The Metropolitan Police say manslaughter, health and safety, and fire safety charges will be considered. A total of 79 people are feared dead after the blaze destroyed 151 homes in the Kensington tower block and nearby. Meanwhile, …

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LONDON: At Least Six Dead, Dozens Unaccounted For In “Death Trap” High Rise Apartment Tower Blaze

The Associated Press reports: A deadly overnight fire raced through a 24-story apartment tower in London on Wednesday, killing at least six people and injuring 74 others, police said. Witnesses reported seeing residents throw babies and small children from high windows to people on the sidewalk in a desperate effort to save them from the flames. The inferno lit up …

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LONDON: Fire Engulfs High-Rise Apartment Tower

The BBC reports: A fire has broken out in a tower block in London with reports that people are trapped in their homes. The fire in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in Latimer Road in White City broke out in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The fire brigade said on Twitter they were responding to a fire on the Lancaster …

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PENNSYLVANIA: Engineer In Fatal 2015 Amtrak Crash Charged With Eight Counts Of Involuntary Manslaughter

The Associated Press reports: The state’s top prosecutor on Friday charged a speeding Amtrak engineer with causing a catastrophe, involuntary manslaughter and other crimes in a deadly 2015 derailment that came after he accelerated to 106 mph on a 50 mph curve. Prosecutors said they were in talks with engineer Brandon Bostian’s attorney to have him surrender on the charges. …

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FLORIDA: Multiple Homes Destroyed After Man Burning Books Sparks Massive 400 Acre Wildfire [VIDEO]

Florida, because of course. CNN reports: At least 10 homes in Nassau County, Florida, were destroyed in a wildfire caused by a man who was burning books Wednesday. Only a few minor injuries to emergency personnel have been reported in what’s being called the Garfield Road Fire, according to the Florida Forest Service. But it has burned an estimated 350 …

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BERLIN: Fire At Gay Sauna Kills Three

Germany’s The Local reports: A fire broke out at a sauna club in west Berlin on Sunday evening, tragically costing the lives of three men who were inside at the time. A fourth man was brought to hospital with suspected smoke intoxication, a spokesperson for the fire service said. But the spokesperson ruled out the possibility of further victims. The …

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