Another powerful storm pummeled California on Friday and Saturday, forcing thousands to evacuate and resulting in at least two deaths, while causing a levee to give way in coastal Monterey County.
“We were hoping to avoid and prevent this situation, but the worst case scenario has arrived with the Pajaro River overtopping and levee breaching at about midnight,” Monterey County supervisor Luis Alejo wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
Residents said they were alerted by local fire officials in the middle of the night that they needed to evacuate.
“Just the noise of the fire department — their sirens and all — woke us up,” said Moses, a resident of 20 years who preferred to give only his first name.
He said officials later came and knocked on his door multiple times, but that he decided to wait until 5am to make a decision.
After returning home from surveying the flooding, Moses said water was beginning to cover his street.
“That’s when I told my wife, ‘hey, we got to get out of here,’” he said.
The area remained under a flood warning on Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service said.
On Friday night, California emergency services director Nancy Ward announced that the storm had claimed at least two lives.
Images posted on Twitter by the California National Guard showed personnel rescuing residents trapped in vehicles by high water.
At least one road was washed away in Santa Cruz County, just north of Monterey.
Residents in several towns, mostly in the north, have been ordered to evacuate.
An unusually intense and seemingly endless series of storms has battered California for weeks. The latest storm was expected to dump as much as 23cm of rain on already saturated ground.
Part of a powerful subtropical atmospheric river originating around Hawaii, this latest storm is expected to speed the melting of the enormous snowpack that has built up in higher elevations.
The resulting runoff threatens to aggravate already serious flooding.
In Pajaro on Saturday, the fire department and national guard used drones to survey the flooded areas, checking for people stranded in their homes, reporters said.
Two cousins, Angel Martinez and Christian Garcia, waded through the water carrying a plastic bag of food salvaged from the kitchen.
They said their neighborhood was a “wreck,” with water 1m deep in their backyard.
They were only able to grab phone chargers, some blankets and a first aid kit when they hastily evacuated.
US President Joe Biden on Friday approved an emergency declaration that clears the way to expedite federal aid to the western state.
Biden called California Governor Gavin Newsom on Saturday to reaffirm full federal support for the impact of flooding and landslides on the state, a White House pool report said.
Newsom said California was “deploying every tool we have to protect communities from the relentless and deadly storms battering our state.”
Storms in January were blamed for the loss of 20 lives.
DEEPFAKE: Using AI to change their face and voice, a fraudster convinced a businessman that they were his friend and needed 4.3 million yuan for a public tender A scammer in China used artificial intelligence (AI) to pose as a businessman’s trusted friend and convince him to hand over millions of yuan, authorities have said. The victim, surnamed Guo, received a video call last month from a person who looked and sounded like a close friend. However, the caller was actually a con artist “using smart AI technology to change their face” and voice, said an article published on Monday by a media portal associated with the government in Fuzhou City. The scammer was “masquerading as [Guo’s] good friend and perpetrating fraud,” the article said. Guo was persuaded to transfer 4.3
Pins hidden in her shoes, head forced down a toilet, kicked in the stomach: South Korean hairdresser Pyo Ye-rim suffered a litany of abuse from school bullies, but now she is speaking out. The 26-year-old is part of a phenomenon sweeping South Korea known as “Hakpok #MeToo,” where people who were bullied publicly name and shame the perpetrators of school violence — “hakpok” in Korean — decades after the alleged crimes. Made famous globally by Netflix’s gory revenge series The Glory, the movement has ensnared everyone from K-pop stars to baseball players and accusations — often anonymous — can be career-ending, with
A Malaysian comedian better known for mocking attempts by Western chefs at Asian cooking has had his Chinese social media account suspended after making jokes about China. Nigel Ng (黃瑾瑜), who uses the name Uncle Roger, is the latest comedian to feel the consequences of jokes that could be perceived as reflecting negatively on China under increasingly intense censorship and rising nationalism. Last week, a Chinese comedian came under police investigation for a joke about stray dogs. Ng on Thursday posted a video clip from an upcoming comedy special in which he pokes fun at Chinese surveillance and Beijing’s claims of sovereignty over
TIME TO TALK: Among China’s grievances were economic and trade issues related to Taiwan, but both countries emphasized the need to maintain communication US Trade Representative Katherine Tai (戴琪) on Friday raised complaints about China’s state-led economic policies during a meeting with Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao (王文濤), who objected to US tariffs and trade policies, as well as issues related to Taiwan, their offices said. However, statements from the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) office and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce emphasized the need for Washington and Beijing to maintain communication on trade. “Ambassador Tai highlighted the need to address the critical imbalances caused by China’s state-led, non-market approach to the economy and trade policy,” the USTR said in a statement released after the