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11 million at risk from flooding and 301 fires: US climate threats today

The climate crisis will cause all kinds of catastrophes in the coming decades, as greenhouse gases, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, will heat the planet and bring the atmosphere into chaos.

The consequences of this crisis are already plaguing millions of people in the United States as fires, hurricanes, droughts and heat waves sweep through the country.

Now, the federal government tracks the full range of extreme weather conditions in the country on a daily basis – highlighting just how vulnerable the country is to a climate catastrophe.

Hurricane Fiona has brought extensive damage to Puerto Rico with strong winds and massive amounts of rain. The entire island lost electricity in the storm, and while some areas have restarted electricity, much of the island remains without electricity and running water.

In some parts of the island it was raining 64 centimeters in diameter, According to National Weather Service.

The storm later hit the Dominican Republic and blows through the Turks and Caicos Islands after it has been upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane. It is predicted to become a Category 4 storm as it moves even further north.

There were 312 active fires in the United States on Tuesday, mostly in the West. This includes 94 large fires that burned just under 900,000 acres – larger than Yosemite National Park.

In Oregon, Cedar Creek Fire burned 113,637 acres and only remains 11 per one, though growth has slowed in recent days.

In northern California, the Mosquito Fire burned down over 76,290 acres, with mandatory evacuation orders still in place in some communities, although growth also slowed as wetter weather passed through the area.

More than 11 million Americans are under flood alerts. Following the hurricane, flood observations continue to exist in Puerto Rico, as well as northern California, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico as storms hit the western United States. In some parts of Colorado, up to 10 cm of rain can fall over the next few days.

In addition, some rivers can flood parts of South Dakota, Texas and Florida when they reach high water levels.

Finally, drought continues to plague most of the country, especially in the West. More than 113 million Americans now live in drought conditions.

This includes parts of California, Utah, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Oregon that are affected by “exceptional drought”, the most extreme levels of drought, posing severe challenges for farmers and a very high risk of fires.

Parts of the Northeast United States also face dry weather, and some areas along the New England coast are experiencing “extreme drought”.

The UN climate panel warned that threats such as drought, heatwaves, floods, wildfires and intense storms are likely to become more intense in the coming decades as the planet warms up.


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