Emergency officials ordered an additional 20,000 people to evacuate their homes in Kelowna, British Columbia, on Friday as a wildfire moved closer to the prosperous vacation city. \nThe additional evacuation meant that 30,000 people, or nearly one-third of Kelowna's population, had been ordered from their homes, said Bruce Smith, a local emergency operations official. \nMassive flames could be seen near the western Canadian city, as the 17,000-hectare fire raged, casting an eerie orange glow into the sky. \n"I've lived here all my life, and I can't believe this," said Debbie Curylo, 44, who was watching the fires from a distance, saying they had spread to an area where her two sisters live. \n"It's all up to God now." \nWinds picked up late in the day, pushing the fire past containment lines that crews had struggled to build for several days. A similar situation happened on Thursday evening, prompting the first evacuations. \nA thick pall of smoke had hung over the city of 96,000 throughout Friday, shrouding the mountains. Blackened pine needles and bits of ash floated down like gray snow flurries. \nNo deaths or injuries were reported, but 15 homes were damaged or destroyed by the flames. Witnesses told local media that they had seen additional homes being destroyed by the flames. \nMany of those who fled were told they had only minutes to leave by police who went from door to door as danger mounted. \nThe fire outside Kelowna, in the Okanagan region about 300km east of Vancouver, began on Aug. 16 with a lightning strike in the mountains. \nThe region is home to Western Canada's wine industry, and the fire has forced the closure of at least one winery. \nEven before the evacuations in Kelowna, as many as 2,000 people in the southern interior of Canada's westernmost province were forced from their homes by several large forest fires. \nThe mountainous area has had scant rainfall this summer, creating one of the most devastating fire seasons in decades. \nAfter viewing the blaze by air, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell said it "seemed endless." \nSince April 1, more than 1,600 sq2 of forest have burned in British Columbia, which has declared a state of emergency. More than 800 fires were burning across the province. \nResidents have been warned to stay out of forests and off wilderness roads and campsites in the southern half of the province, which is Canada's third largest and roughly the size of France and Germany combined. \nDry conditions have forced most southern timber companies to withdraw logging crews, and workers will not be able to return until there is significant rain -- a factor that has driven lumber prices up on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete