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Business News/ News / Tropical Storm Hilary brings heavy rains, flooding threat to California. Top 10 updates
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Tropical Storm Hilary brings heavy rains, flooding threat to California. Top 10 updates

Tropical Storm Hilary brings heavy rains and potential flooding to California, along with a 5.1 magnitude earthquake.

Pedestrians, battling strong winds and heavy rain, navigate Hollywood Boulevard amidst Tropical Storm Hilary on Sunday, August 20, in Los Angeles. (AP)Premium
Pedestrians, battling strong winds and heavy rain, navigate Hollywood Boulevard amidst Tropical Storm Hilary on Sunday, August 20, in Los Angeles. (AP)

California experienced heavy rainfall on Sunday due to the arrival of Tropical Storm Hilary from Mexico. This brought warnings of potentially life-threatening flooding in the typically arid southwestern United States, reported AFP.

Also read: Hurricane Hilary downgraded as Category 1 hurricane. 10 points you should know

Here are 10 updates about Tropical Storm Hilary:

  1. In addition to the heavy rainfall brought in by Hilary storm, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck near the southern California town of Ojai, though there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
  2. As of Sunday afternoon, Hilary's core had reached California with maximum sustained winds of 60 miles (95 kilometers) per hour. This was after it had moved up Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, a rare occurrence for southern California. The storm was moving swiftly at 23 mph (37 kph).
  3. Hilary was forecasted to bring up to 10 inches (25 centimetres) of rain to parts of California and Nevada, posing a threat of dangerous to catastrophic flooding. 
  4. The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued a warning of "catastrophic and life-threatening flooding likely over Baja California and portions of the southwestern US through Monday." Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass referred to this as an “unprecedented weather event."
  5. As a result of these severe conditions, beaches were closed, and residents rushed to stock up on essentials. Flash flood and tornado warnings were also issued for certain areas.
  6. Hilary had previously reached Category 4, the second-most powerful on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, but was downgraded to a tropical storm as it approached the Mexican border city of Tijuana. Despite the weakening, Deanne Criswell, the administrator of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), urged people to take the threat seriously.
  7. California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a ‘state of emergency’ for much of the southern part of the state and encouraged residents to stay safe.
  8. Preparations for the storm included the opening of storm shelters and the deployment of over 7,500 personnel, including National Guard soldiers and swiftwater rescue teams, Newsom's office stated.
  9. In San Diego, residents filled sandbags in anticipation of potential flooding, and lifeguards cautioned against venturing into the sea.
  10. Nancy Ward, director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, described Hilary as one of the most dangerous storms to hit the state in over a decade.

Also read: Category 1 Hurricane Hilary barrels toward California, still threatening floods

The impact of such storms, intensified by climate change, is raising concerns among scientists about the future risks posed by severe weather events. FEMA administrator Criswell said "We have to also look at what is the change in the climate doing to these severe weather events."

(With inputs from AFP) 

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Published: 21 Aug 2023, 07:35 AM IST
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