Tag Archives: Disaster planning and response

Gaps in wildfire smoke warning community depart folks uncovered

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Authorities applications to alert the general public when smoke air pollution turns into unhealthy depend on about 950 everlasting monitoring stations and dozens of cell models that may be deployed round main fires.

These stations are closely concentrated round main cities on the West Coast and east of the Mississippi River — a patchwork that leaves some folks unable to find out native dangers from smoke, together with in rural areas the place air high quality can shortly degrade when fires ignite close by. The issue persists far past fireplace traces as a result of wildfire smoke travels for 1000’s of miles and loses its tell-tale odor but stays a hazard to public well being.

The monitoring gaps underscore what officers and public well being consultants say is a obvious scarcity of assets for a sort of air pollution rising worse as local weather change brings more and more lengthy and harmful wildfire seasons to the U.S. West, southern Europe and japanese Russia.

Microscopic particles in wildfire smoke could cause respiration points and extra severe issues for folks with power well being circumstances. Lengthy-term results stay below research however some researchers estimate power smoke publicity causes about 20,000 untimely deaths a yr within the U.S.

“It’s a really irritating place to be the place now we have recurring well being emergencies with out ample technique of responding to them,” stated Sarah Coefield, an air high quality specialist for town of Missoula, Montana. “You will be in your workplace simply respiration smoke and pondering you’re OK since you’re inside, however you’re not.”

Missoula, perched alongside the Clark Fork River with about 75,000 folks, is surrounded by mountains and has change into infamous as a smoke lure. All throughout the area are comparable mountain valleys, many with out air pollution screens, and smoke circumstances can fluctuate significantly from one valley to the following.

Montana has 19 everlasting monitoring stations. That is about one for each 7,700 sq. miles (20,000 sq. kilometers) or an space nearly as huge as New Jersey. New Jersey has 30.

Information on air high quality is especially sparse in japanese Montana, the place smoke from a 266-square-mile (690-square-kilometer) fireplace on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation received so dangerous this month that officers closed a well being clinic when air filters couldn’t sustain with the air pollution.

The smoke prompted tribal authorities to protect elders and others who had been in danger by extending an evacuation order for Lame Deer, a city of about 2,000 those who sits beneath fire-scarred Badger Peak and is dwelling to the tribal authorities advanced.

However on the identical day, Lame Deer and surrounding areas had been unnoticed of a air pollution alert from state officers, who stated extraordinarily excessive smoke particle ranges made the air unhealthy throughout massive areas of Montana and suggested folks to keep away from extended exertion to guard their lungs. A air pollution sensor on the reservation had burned within the fireplace, and the closest state Division of Environmental High quality monitor, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) away, confirmed an air high quality studying of “good.”

That left tribal officers to evaluate the air pollution hazard based mostly on how far they may see — a crude fallback for areas with out screens. On a scale of 1 to 20, “I might say the smoke was a 19,” tribal spokesperson Angel Becker stated.

“What makes it troublesome is that Lame Deer is sitting in between a few ravines,” she added. “So once you get socked in (with smoke), it simply sits right here and that’s not good for elders or youngsters which have bronchial asthma or any respiration points.”

Doug Kuenzli, who supervises Montana’s air high quality monitoring program, stated regulators acknowledge the necessity for extra knowledge on smoke however high-grade screens will be prohibitively costly — $10,000 to $28,000 every.

Oregon expanded its community over the previous two years with 5 new screens alongside the state’s picturesque shoreline the place smoke solely not too long ago turned a recurring drawback, stated Tom Roick with the Oregon Division of Environmental High quality.

“We’re seeing extra prevalence of wildfire smoke and elevated depth,” Roick stated. “It is not as a result of now we have extra monitoring; it is getting worse.”

All through the West, public well being officers have struggled to get the message about risks of smoke to at-risk communities, reminiscent of migrant staff who spend a lot of time outside, folks in homes with out air filters and the aged. Kids, too, are extra prone to well being issues.

That is no small subset of society: Folks over 65 and youngsters below 18 make up 40% of the inhabitants, stated Kaitlyn Kelly, a wildfire smoke air pollution specialist with the Washington Division of Well being.

Speedy technological developments imply households should buy their very own monitoring gear for round $250. The gear shouldn’t be as dependable as authorities stations, officers stated, however the knowledge from lots of the privately-owned sensors is now displayed on an interactive smoke publicity map by the U.S. Environmental Safety Company and Forest Service.

Though inaccurate readings have been reported for some consumer-grade sensors, officers stated they may help fill blind spots within the authorities’s community. The quantity in use is quick growing — from about 6,000 non-public sensors final yr to greater than 10,000 presently, based on EPA.

“There’s nonetheless gaps,” stated Kelly. “The low-cost sensors are step one in filling within the gaps the place we do not have (authorities) screens.”

In Missoula, a small non-profit group based to convey consideration to world warming goes past warning folks about smoke. It is offering makeshift air filters and transportable air cleaners to the homebound aged and impoverished households.

Vinette Rupp, a 74-year-old Missoula girl who acquired a conveyable air cleaner, stated she “can nearly style it” when the smoke will get thick on the town. Neighbor Maureen Fogarty, 67, who has lung most cancers and suffers from respiration issues, stated her coughing has eased since she received one of many filters.

“Effectively it is a lifesaver as a result of I can breathe simpler now,” Fogarty stated. “The best way it’s, you recognize, you have to come and go and also you’re bringing within the unhealthy air, and it’s gonna have an effect on you.”

Local weather Good Missoula, which supplied the transportable air cleaner, additionally makes and distributes filters by an area meals financial institution. Costing about $30 apiece — versus $150 or extra for a manufactured unit — the do-it-yourself purifiers are endorsed by public well being officers. They’re crafted from field followers with high-efficiency furnace filters duct-taped to the again to lure air pollution particles as air passes by.

Local weather Good Missoula director Amy Cilimburg stated she and a colleague have constructed roughly 200 of them, paid for largely with donations.

“Our methods for coping with wildfire smoke had been pray for rain, or depart city, or endure — and that appeared insufficient,” Cilimburg stated “It is sort of caught up with us, though scientists have advised us it is coming. I felt like we would have liked to get to work.”

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Observe Matthew Brown on Twitter: @MatthewBrownAP

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The Newest: Mayor says 1 useless, 1 lacking in coastal Alabama

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Listed below are the most recent developments on tropical climate:

ORANGE BEACH, Alabama — The mayor of a coastal Alabama city says one individual has died because of Hurricane Sally.

Mayor Tony Kennon of Orange Seaside tells The Related Press that the individual died Wednesday. He added that one different individual is lacking. Kennon stated no different particulars can be launched instantly.

Sally got here ashore Wednesday morning close to the favored trip vacation spot as a serious hurricane. Kennon says injury to the seaside was not too unhealthy.

Away from the seaside, in neighborhoods alongside canals and beside the bay, injury was worse than what the town suffered in Hurricane Ivan, which hit 16 years to the day earlier.

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida’s governor is warning individuals within the state’s hard-hit panhandle to stay vigilant as Sally heads inland, warning main river flooding might come subsequent.

Gov. Ron DeSantis instructed a information convention Wednesday afternoon that Sally is dumping heavy rains because it treks inland throughout the Southeast. He stated that’s anticipated to trigger huge flooding of a number of Florida Panhandle rivers within the coming days.

“So that is sort of the preliminary salvo, however there’s going to be extra that you simply’re going to need to take care of,” DeSantis stated at an look on the state emergency operations heart in Tallahassee.

Because the rivers crest, DeSantis stated, areas that weren’t initially flooded by the passing hurricane might nonetheless be affected, with residents pressured to evacuate.

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MOBILE, Ala. — Rivers have begun to rise from Sally’s heavy rains, and no less than eight waterways in south Alabama and the Florida Panhandle are anticipated to hit main flood stage by Thursday.

Among the crests might break data, submerge bridges and flood some houses, the Nationwide Climate Service warned in a message late Wednesday.

In Alabama, affected waterways embrace the Styx and Fish rivers, Homicide Creek and Huge Escambia Creek. In Florida, main crests had been anticipated on the Perdido, Blackwater, Shoal and Yellow rivers, in keeping with forecasters.

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BAY MINETTE, Ala. — An electrical utility in south Alabama is warning individuals hit by energy outages from the passage of Sally that they might not get their lights again any time quickly.

Baldwin EMC, the electrical utility that companies Baldwin County and a part of a neighboring county in southeastern Alabama, posted on its Fb web page Wednesday that it had crews going out to evaluate the injury. However the utility warned clients they might be in for “extended, in depth outages as a result of quantity of injury.”

“We don’t wish to sugar coat this; we’re in it for the lengthy haul,” the message stated. Utility officers have requested individuals who had medical tools needing electrical energy to begin making different plans.

Greater than 500,00 residential and enterprise clients of utilities in Alabama and Florida have been hit with outages, poweroutage.us reported Wednesday afternoon.

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PENSACOLA, Fla. — Pensacola resident Rodney Landrum in contrast Hurricane Sally to highly effective Hurricane Ivan, which blasted ashore in neighboring Alabama in September 2004.

The 51-year-old pc database engineer recalled Hurricane Ivan as being “hellish, nightmarish.” It even blew tiles off his roof.

This time, Sally left his roof intact. And Landrum even slept as Sally blew ashore early Wednesday.

He didn’t expertise any flooding although many giant bushes got here down, together with an enormous tree that toppled on the roof of a neighbor.

“Numerous downed energy strains, a number of creeks overflowing,” stated Landrum after a drive in his neighborhood. “Nothing was open apart from one McDonalds, which had a line of about 45 automobiles.”

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PENSACOLA, Fla. — Sheriff David Morgan within the Florida Panhandle’s Escambia County has bristled at assertions that authorities had been unprepared for Hurricane Sally.

“Escambia County is rarely unprepared,” he stated at a information convention Wednesday afternoon. “if there’s a hurricane tonight, we’re ready to handle the hurricane. If there’s a riot tonight, we’re ready to handle that. We prepare for this stuff day in and day trip.”

Escambia Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Chip Simmons stated deputies fanned out into communities, on foot, in patrol automobiles and on bikes to offer help throughout the storm. Mentioned Simmons: “I noticed lots of people in misery. I noticed lots of people crying. I noticed lots of people giving of themselves — they had been serving to another person.”

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PASCAGOULA, Miss. — Mississippi constitution boat captain Rocky Bond is respiratory simple.

Hurricane Sally brought about the tide to rise about 4 toes (1.2 meters) in Pascagoula on Missisippi’s Gulf Coast. However after the waters receded, he discovered solely minor injury inflicted on docks and boat slips.

As an alternative, Hurricane Sally pummeled the Gulf Coast additional to the east of Mississippi.

“We had been fortunate,” Bond stated Wednesday. Just a few boards had been unfastened or lacking and a dock ramp doubtless washed away within the tide. He had been shifting boats to security for days.

Elsewhere, a lot of his mariner mates in neighboring coastal Alabama and the Florida Panhandle weren’t so lucky when Sally crashed ashore to the east. “They acquired hammered,” Bond stated. “Yachts sunk, and I imply massive yachts. All of the boats are unfastened, and every part’s simply washed up in particles piles. It’s chaotic.”

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MIAMI — Tropical Storm Sally has begun to unfold heavy rains into the U.S. Southeast because it strikes inland at a faster-than-expected tempo.

The Nationwide Hurricane Heart stated Wednesday afternoon that Sally has begun drenching components of jap Alabama and western Georgia. In the meantime, life-threatening flooding is continuous over parts of the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama hours after Sally crashed ashore as a hurricane.

At Four p.m. CDT, Sally’s heart was situated about 55 miles (85 kilometers) north-northeast of Pensacola on the Florida Panhandle. Sally had prime sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph). It’s shifting to the northeast at 7 mph (11 kph).

Forecasters say Sally’s core will transfer throughout southeastern Alabama throughout the evening and over central Georgia on Thursday earlier than sweeping over South Carolina later that evening. Because the storm continues to weaken, Sally is anticipated to grow to be a tropical melancholy someday Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.

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PENSACOLA, Fla. — Authorities in Pensacola, Florida, say 200 Nationwide Guard members shall be arriving Thursday in response to Hurricane Sally, which hit the Gulf Coast with wind and drenching rains which have brought about flooding.

At a Wednesday afternoon information convention, Escambia County authorities introduced a nightfall to daybreak curfew for the subsequent three days. Additionally they stated there have been 377 rescues so removed from water-stricken areas.

Sally lumbered ashore Wednesday morning close to the Florida-Alabama line as Class 2 hurricane with 105 mph (165 kph) winds and rain measured in toes, not inches. It has swamped houses and trapped individuals in excessive water because it creeps inland.

It has since weakened to a tropical storm.

PENSACOLA, Fla. — A number of boats docked at a pier in Pensacola, Florida, have sunk as Sally moved over the Gulf Coast.

Pensacola police spokesperson Mike Wooden additionally stated Wednesday he doesn’t know the whereabouts of a duplicate of one of many ships that made Christopher Columbus’s historic voyage.

Sally lumbered ashore Wednesday morning close to the Florida-Alabama line as Class 2 hurricane with 105 mph (165 kph) winds and rain measured in toes, not inches. It has swamped houses and trapped individuals in excessive water because it creeps inland for what might be an extended, sluggish and disastrous drenching throughout the Deep South.

It has since weakened to a tropical storm.

MIAMI — Sally has weakened to a tropical storm however the Gulf Coast area nonetheless faces points from the slow-moving storm’s drenching rains and flooding.

The U.S. Nationwide Hurricane Heart says the storm’s most sustained winds decreased Wednesday afternoon to close 70 mph (110 kph) with further weakening anticipated as Sally strikes inland.

As of 1 p.m. CDT, the storm was centered about 30 miles (45 kilometers) north-northeast of Pensacola, Florida, and shifting north-northeast close to 5 mph (7 kph).

Sally lumbered ashore Wednesday morning close to the Florida-Alabama line as Class 2 hurricane with 105 mph (165 kph) winds and rain measured in toes, not inches. It has swamped houses and trapped individuals in excessive water because it creeps inland for what might be an extended, sluggish and disastrous drenching throughout the Deep South.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey says some areas of the state are seeing historic flood ranges from slow-moving Hurricane Sally and extra flooding is anticipated all through the day.

Ivey urged individuals Wednesday to chorus from getting on roads until they completely need to and stated the perfect factor is for individuals to remain house.

Hurricane Sally lumbered ashore close to the Florida-Alabama line Wednesday morning with 105 mph (165 kph) winds and rain measured in toes, not inches. It has swamped houses and trapped individuals in excessive water because it creeps inland for what might be an extended, sluggish and disastrous drenching throughout the Deep South.

PENSACOLA, Fla. — A sheriff says Hurricane Sally has knocked out a bit of the brand new Three Mile Bridge in Pensacola, Florida, because the storm kilos the Gulf Coast with wind and rain.

At a information convention, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan confirmed that a part of the brand new bridge had come off amid the storm.

Sally made landfall early Wednesday close to Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Class 2 hurricane with prime winds of 100 mph (155 kph).

WASHINGTON — White Home press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says the White Home is “absolutely engaged” as Hurricane Sally kilos the Gulf Coast with wind and rain.

Talking Wednesday morning on Fox Information Channel’s “Fox & Buddies,” McEnany stated the Federal Emergency Administration Company can be absolutely engaged and cited President Donald Trump’s issuance of emergency declarations for the affected states.

McEnany didn’t have particulars on which officers the president had spoken with as of Wednesday morning however stated “it’s secure to say the White Home has been in energetic contact with all of those governors.”

Sally made landfall early Wednesday close to Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Class 2 hurricane with prime winds of 100 mph (155 kph).

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — Metropolis officers in Orange Seaside, Alabama, say they’ve acquired 120 calls after midnight from individuals whose houses had been flooded by Hurricane Sally.

Mayor Tony Kennon says between 50 and 60 individuals had been rescued and are staying in makeshift shelters Wednesday morning.

Kennon additionally stated there are individuals they have not been in a position to get to due to excessive water. However he stated they’re secure of their houses and shall be rescued as quickly because the water recedes.

In the meantime, U.S. Coast Guard crews primarily based in New Orleans are ready to make rescues if wanted, as quickly because the storm passes.

Sally made landfall early Wednesday close to Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Class 2 hurricane with prime winds of 100 mph (155 kph).

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GULF SHORES, Ala. — Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday morning close to Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Class 2 storm, pushing a surge of ocean water onto the coast and dumping torrential rain that forecasters stated would trigger harmful flooding from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi and effectively inland within the days forward.

Shifting at an agonizingly sluggish three mph, Sally lastly got here ashore at 4:45 a.m. native time with prime winds of 105 mph (165 kmh), the Nationwide Hurricane Heart stated.

Sally’s northern eyewall had raked the Gulf Coast with hurricane-force winds and rain from Pensacola Seaside, Florida, westward to Dauphin Island, Alabama, for hours earlier than its heart lastly hit land.

Almost 400,00zero houses and companies are with out energy, in keeping with the utility tracker poweroutage.us, because the winds and rain down energy strains and flood streets and houses.

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Hurricane Sally’s northern eyewall is raking the Gulf Coast with hurricane-force winds and rain from Pensacola Seaside, Florida westward to Dauphin Island, Alabama, the Nationwide Hurricane Heart stated.

Forecasters say landfall will not come till later Wednesday when the middle of the very sluggish shifting hurricane lastly reaches the coast. Sally stays centered about 50 miles (75 kilometers) south-southeast of Cellular, Alabama and 40 miles (65 kilometers) southwest of Pensacola, Florida, with prime winds of 105 mph (165 kmh), shifting north-northeast at three mph (6 kmh).

Already bushes are falling, avenue indicators are swinging and automobiles are getting caught in floods in Gulf Shores, Alabama, in keeping with movies posted on social media. Greater than 300,00zero clients are with out energy in Alabama, Florida and Louisiana.

In the meantime Teddy has quickly intensified right into a hurricane and is forecast to grow to be a catastrophic Class 4, probably reaching Bermuda this weekend.

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MOSS POINT, Miss. – As Sally’s outer bands reached the Gulf Coast, the supervisor of an alligator ranch in Moss Level, Mississippi, hoped he wouldn’t need to dwell a repeat of what occurred on the gator farm in 2005.

That’s when about 250 alligators escaped their enclosures throughout Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge.

Tim Parker, supervisor of Gulf Coast Gator Ranch & Excursions, stated Sally has been a tense storm as a result of forecasters had been predicting a storm surge of as a lot as 9 toes within the space. However, he says he was feeling some aid after new surge predictions had gone down.

“Now they’re speaking about possibly two to 4 foot, which received’t be unhealthy right here,” Parker stated. “My car parking zone would possibly go underneath water. Our workplace would possibly partially go underneath water, but it surely’s not going to be too unhealthy.”

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PENSACOLA, Fla. — Sally has restrengthened into a strong Class 2 hurricane because it veers eastward and crawls towards a possible landfall between the Florida Panhandle and Cellular Bay.

The Nationwide Hurricane Heart stated early Wednesday that the storm’s sustained winds had elevated to 100 mph (161 kph).

The newest forecast monitor has the hurricane making landfall later Wednesday morning. The storm is barely shifting, creeping ahead at 2 mph (three kph).

About 1 a.m. EDT Wednesday, Sally was centered about 65 miles (105 kilometers) southeast of Cellular, Alabama, and 60 miles (95 kilometers) southwest of Pensacola, Florida.

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Aussie PM defends response to fires; weather brings respite

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SYDNEY —
Cooling temperatures and calmer winds brought some relief Sunday to Australian communities raked by wildfires, but the heat stayed on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to accept responsibility for the crisis and take action.

“There has been a lot of blame being thrown around,” Morrison said at a news conference. “And now is the time to focus on the response that is being made. … Blame doesn’t help anybody at this time and over-analysis of these things is not a productive exercise.”

Morrison announced Saturday that he would dispatch 3,000 army, navy and air force reservists to help battle the fires. He also committed 20 million Australian dollars ($14 million) to lease fire-fighting aircraft from overseas.

But the moves did little to tamp down the criticism that he had been slow to act, even as he has downplayed the need for his government to address climate change, which experts say played a key role in supercharging the blazes.

As dawn broke over a blackened landscape Sunday, a picture emerged of disaster of unprecedented scale. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service said 150 fires were active in the state, 64 of them uncontrolled.

The wildfires have so far scorched an area twice the size of the U.S. state of Maryland, stretching across Australia’s southeast quadrant, its most densely populated. The fires have killed at least 24 people, including a 47-year-old man who died Saturday night while trying to defend a friend’s home from encroaching flames. Nearly 2,000 homes have been destroyed.

In New South Wales alone, the fires have killed nearly 500 million birds, reptiles and mammals, Sydney University ecologist Chris Dickman told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Australians know to expect summer wildfires. But the blazes arrived early this year, fed by drought and the country’s hottest and driest year on record.

“It’s not something we have experienced before,” New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“The weather activity we’re seeing, the extent and spread of the fires, the speed at which they’re (moving), the way they are attacking communities that have never seen fire is unprecedented,” she said.

Scientists say there’s no doubt man-made global warming has played a major role in feeding the fires, along with factors like very dry brush and trees and strong winds.

Morrison, chided for past remarks minimizing the need to address climate change, has deflected criticism while trying to change his tone.

“There is no dispute in this country about the issue of climate change globally and its effect on global weather patterns, and that includes how it impacts in Australia,” the prime minister said.

“I have to correct the record here. I have seen a number of people suggest that somehow the government does not make this connection. The government has always made this connection and that has never been in dispute,” he said.

Morrison has faced widespread criticism for taking a family vacation in Hawaii at the start of the wildfire crisis, as well as for his sometimes distracted approach as the disaster has escalated and his slowness in deploying resources.

His handling of the deployment of reservists also came in for criticism Sunday. Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, who is leading the fight in New South Wales, said he learned of the deployment through media reports.

“It is fair to say it was disappointing and some surprise to hear about these things through public announcements in the middle of what was one of our worst days this season, with the second-highest number of concurrent emergency warning fires ever in the history of New South Wales,” he said.

Morrison was also forced to defend a video posted on social media Saturday that promoted the deployment of reservists and the government’s response to the wildfires.

On Sunday, cooler temperatures and lighter winds brought some relief to threatened communities, a day after thousands were forced to flee as flames reached the suburban fringes of Sydney.

Thousands of firefighters fought to contain the blazes, but many fires continued to burn out of control, threatening to wipe out rural townships and causing almost incalculable damage to property and wildlife.

On Saturday, a father and son who were battling flames for two days died on a highway on Kangaroo Island, off South Australia state. Authorities identified them as Dick Lang, a 78-year-old acclaimed bush pilot and outback safari operator, and his 43-year-old son, Clayton. Their family said their losses left them “heartbroken and reeling from this double tragedy.”

Lang, known as “Desert Dick,” led tours for travelers throughout Australia and other countries.

Meanwhile, Australia’s capital, Canberra, was enveloped in a smoky haze Sunday and air quality at midday was measured at 10 times the usual hazardous limit.

In New Zealand, the skies above Auckland were tinged orange by smoke from the bushfires and police were inundated with calls from anxious residents.

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McMorran reported from Wellington, New Zealand.

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Torrential rains pound southeastern Spain, demise toll to 4

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Rescue employees saved hundreds of individuals from rising waters Friday as report rainfall pounded southeastern Spain, a deluge that authorities mentioned killed not less than 4 folks and closed down airports, trains, roads and faculties.

The storm that slammed into the Mediterranean coastal areas of Valencia, Murcia and japanese Andalusia on Thursday and Friday left greater than 3,500 folks in want of emergency rescues, Inside Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska mentioned. Some cities and cities reported their heaviest rainfall on report over the previous two days, he added.

The downpour pressured the closure of airports in Almeria and Murcia in addition to intercity prepare traces, main roads and faculties. Authorities requested residents to keep away from driving. A minimum of one main reservoir hit its peak capability and was releasing water Friday, which might convey one other surge in river ranges.

Sergio Gil, head of the Civil Safety Company in Los Alcázares, mentioned the Murcia coastal area of round 15,000 folks was nearly fully flooded.

“We’re rescuing somebody each 10 minutes,” he informed Onda Cero radio. “Rain is falling like there isn’t any tomorrow. It is unimaginable.”

The town of Almeria, on the Mediterranean coast, mentioned one man died after being trapped in a automobile when it drove right into a flooded tunnel on Friday. Police mentioned the sufferer was a 48-year-old man who ignored police warnings, the information company Europa Press reported. Police mentioned his brother was additionally within the automobile however managed to swim to security.

Emergency providers in Andalusia mentioned a 36-year-old man died when his automobile was submerged within the city of Jámula, 100 kilometers (62 miles) inland from Almeria.

On Thursday, emergency providers discovered a 51-year-old girl and her 61-year-old brother useless inside an overturned automobile that had been caught by the rising water.

Grande-Marlaska mentioned performing Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will go to the devastated space as quickly as attainable.

The storms on this a part of Spain are a yearly metrological phenomenon within the fall, however they’ve been significantly fierce this 12 months, turning roads into muddy rivers that sweep away every part of their path.

Within the city of Orihuela, 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of Valencia, the Segura River overflowed its banks. The climate service for Valencia mentioned 12 centimeters (4.7 inches) of rain had fallen in simply six hours in Orihuela on Friday morning.

The surging Segura River pressured police to shut all of the bridges crossing it within the metropolis of Murcia. Brown-colored water coursed by the town’ streets, carrying away parked vehicles and inundating the underside flooring of homes in lots of riverside cities.

“The storms have picked up and we’re nonetheless in a really troublesome state of affairs as a result of overflowing of the river,” Valencia’s regional president Ximo Puig informed TVE.

The Spanish climate service AEMET maintained its alert for the area, saying it’s “at excessive threat” from torrential downpours.

Military items backed up police, firefighters and rescuers to reply the lots of of requires assist. Round 1,000 troopers have been being deployed.

On a freeway close to the Alicante city of Pilar de la Horadada, rescuers in a small rubber boat have been towed upstream by a jet ski right into a flooded tunnel the place 4 folks have been trapped on prime of their vehicles. They later rowed out with the rescued vacationers.

The mayor of Los Alcázares, Íñigo Alfonso, requested for extra boats to assist seek for stranded residents within the city, the place video confirmed streets and squares that have been submerged by floodwaters.

Emergency providers for the area of Murcia, which is south of Valencia, rescued 391 folks from vehicles and flooded properties, together with some by police helicopters from the roofs of buildings surrounded by water.

The Spanish consultant for Murcia mentioned military items rescued 60 folks from a campsite that had been lower off by the floods.

“All of the area of Murcia is flooded. Now we have by no means seen this example earlier than,” regional chief Fernando López Miras informed TVE.

The rain was forecast to ease on Saturday.

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Wind strikes big wildfire away from nuke amenities in Idaho

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The most important wildfire on the nation’s major nuclear analysis facility in current historical past had been burning near buildings containing nuclear gasoline and different radioactive materials however a change in wind route Wednesday was pushing the flames into open vary on the sprawling website in Idaho, officers mentioned.

The lightning-caused hearth on the Idaho Nationwide Laboratory is one in every of a number of throughout the U.S. West.

Earlier than the wind shifted, the Idaho blaze bought near a number of lab amenities, together with one the place high-level radioactive supplies are studied and one other holding a nuclear reactor, spokeswoman Kerry Martin mentioned.

The lab has a number of security measures for wildfires that usually ignite in southeastern Idaho’s desert rangeland, together with clearing floor round every constructing and having a number of specifically educated hearth crews stationed across the website that is practically the dimensions of Rhode Island.

“It isn’t our first rodeo,” Martin mentioned. “We’ve got hearth stations, lots of hearth tools, we’ve got educated firefighters and tools to chop obstacles.”

The wildfire that ignited Monday is estimated to have burned about 172 sq. miles (445 sq. kilometers). Non-essential laboratory workers have been evacuated.

The nuclear analysis website contains reactors and analysis supplies, in addition to amenities for processing high-level nuclear waste and different radioactive waste.

In the meantime, rain in a forested Arizona metropolis helped firefighters battle a wildfire that has raged for days in a scenic mountain go however is elevating the danger of flooding, officers mentioned.

As much as 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of rain allowed crews to immediately assault the fireplace, extinguish flames and construct containment traces in an space the place practically three sq. miles (eight sq. kilometers) have burned since Sunday, based on hearth administration group spokesman Steve Kleist.

Forecasters warned of doable flooding due to thunderstorms anticipated Wednesday and Thursday to drench fire-scarred areas within the Coconino Nationwide Forest surrounding Flagstaff, a well-liked mountain getaway within the largest ponderosa pine forest within the U.S.

Residents ordered to evacuate greater than two dozen houses this week have been being allowed to return.

Ladd Vagen, his spouse and two daughters have been staying at a lodge. He mentioned he is curious to scope out the panorama after they go dwelling Wednesday however believes the group “is in simply nice form.” 

Nonetheless, the household can be on discover they could should flee once more.

“I do not assume we will unload our automobiles,” Vagen mentioned. “We could unload minimally and do a greater job of organizing what we will take if we return to ‘go’ standing.”

Arizona has declared an emergency, releasing up funding to battle the blaze. The firefighting price up to now is $2.1 million, incident commander Wealthy Nieto mentioned.

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Related Press author Paul Davenport in Phoenix contributed to this report.

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The Latest: Resident: Shaking collapsed chimney, fireplace

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The Latest on Southern California’s strongest earthquake in 20 years (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

Eugene Johnson is cleaning up his home after the 7.1 magnitude earthquake brought down his brick chimney and fireplace.

The 61-year-old Trona resident said Saturday that he and his wife were in bed watching TV Friday night when the quake started.

They rushed into their living room to hold onto their fish tank and big-screen TV and watched the fireplace collapse.

Dishes crashed out of cabinets, boxes of macaroni fell to the floor and spilled everywhere, and the refrigerator careened halfway across the kitchen.

Johnson says his wife is ready to move back East but he doesn’t want to return to snow and cold weather.

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11:20 a.m.

Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake says it is not fully operational after back-to-back major earthquakes hit Southern California.

The station said Saturday in a Facebook post that its non-essential personnel were evacuated.

The installation in the Mojave Desert covers an area larger than Rhode Island and is the Navy’s largest single landholding.

The Facebook post says normal operations were halted until further notice and it was not clear when they would resume.

Friday’s 7.1 magnitudes quake occurred a day after a magnitude 6.4 quake hit in the same area about 150 miles from Los Angeles.

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11:05 a.m.

The mayor of Ridgecrest says there were two reports of burglaries in the Southern California city following the 7.1 earthquake Friday night.

Mayor Peggy Breeden said Saturday that some “bad people” came into the community and tried to steal items from businesses.

Police Chief Jed McLaughlin said one business was burglarized, with an expensive piece of equipment stolen.

A home was also broken into and police are waiting to see what was taken.

Friday’s quake occurred a day after a magnitude 6.4 quake hit in the same area of the Mojave Desert about 150 miles from Los Angeles.

Officials say there were some power outages.

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10:50 a.m.

A state official says damage from the 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Southern California was not as bad as authorities expected.

Mark S. Ghilarducci, director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, said Saturday that Ridgecrest and Trona suffered structure fires, gas leaks, power outages, road damage and rock slides.

He says the damage was not as extensive as expected despite back-to-back quakes on Thursday and Friday.

He says nearly 200 people were in shelters.

Ghilarducci says cleanup work is underway in San Bernardino and Kern counties, and Caltrans has worked to patch and fix roads, as well as clear rock slides.

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9:30 a.m.

A fire official says there were no fatalities or major injuries in Ridgecrest after the 7.1 magnitudes earthquake on Friday night.

Kern County Fire Chief David Witt also said Saturday there were no major building collapses but some structures could be weakened from the back-to-back quakes.

Friday’s quake occurred a day after a magnitude 6.4 quake hit in the same area of the Mojave Desert about 150 miles from Los Angeles.

Witt says there were some power outages and minor gas and water leaks in Ridgecrest, but no known damage outside the area.

He urged residents to get supplies ready in case another quake hits.

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9 a.m.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for a section of Southern California that saw significant damage after Friday night’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake.

The declaration provides immediate state assistance to San Bernardino County, citing conditions of “extreme peril to the safety of persons and property” in the county due to the earthquake.

State highway officials shut a 30-mile section of State Route 178 between Ridgecrest — the area hit by two major temblors as many days — and the town of Trona southwest of Death Valley.

Photos posted on Twitter by the state highway department shows numerous cracks in the road.

A spokesman for the governor’s Office of Emergency Services says crews were still assessing damages to water lines, gas lines and other infrastructure Saturday.

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12:15 a.m.

Small communities in the Mojave Desert are reeling from a magnitude 7.1 earthquake — the second major temblor in as many days to rock Southern California.

Authorities say Friday night’s shaker was centered near the town of Ridgecrest — the same area where a 6.4-magnitude quake hit on Independence Day.

Mark Ghillarducci, director of the California Office of Emergency Services, says there are “significant reports of structure fires, mostly as a result of gas leaks or gas line breaks throughout the city.”

He also says there’s a report of a building collapse in tiny Trona. He says there could be even more serious damage to the region that won’t be known until first light on Saturday.

The quake at 8:19 p.m. was felt as far north as Sacramento and even in Las Vegas. It’s been followed by a series of sizeable aftershocks.

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10:30 p.m.

Authorities say a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that jolted California has caused injuries, sparked fires, shut roads and shaken ball games and theme parks.

However, authorities say there are no deaths or major building damage reported from the quake, which struck at 8:19 p.m. Friday.

It was centered about 150 miles from Los Angeles in the Mojave Desert near the town of Ridgecrest, which was still recovering from a 6.4-magnitude preshock that hit the region on Thursday.

There were reports of trailers burning at a mobile home, and State Route 178 in Kern County was closed by a rockslide and roadway damage.

But Kern County Fire Chief David Witt says it appears no buildings collapsed. He also says there have been a lot of ambulance calls but no reported fatalities.

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9:50 p.m.

An earthquake rattled Dodger Stadium in the fourth inning of the team’s game against the San Diego Padres.

The quake on Friday night happened when Dodgers second baseman Enriquè Hernàndez was batting. It didn’t appear to affect him or Padres pitcher Eric Lauer.

However, it was obvious to viewers of the SportsNet LA broadcast when the TV picture bounced up and down.

The quake registered an initial magnitude of 6.9 to 7.1, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

There was no announcement by the stadium’s public address announcer.

Some fans in the upper deck appeared to leave their seats and move to a concourse at the top of the stadium.

The press box lurched for about 20 seconds.

The quake occurred a day after a magnitude 6.4 quake hit in the Mojave Desert about 150 miles from Los Angeles.

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9:40 p.m.

Authorities are now reporting injuries and damage from a big earthquake that was felt throughout Southern California and into Las Vegas and even Mexico.

The quake that hit at 8:19 p.m. was given a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 to 7.1, but the measurements were being calculated.

It followed Thursday’s 6.4-mangitude quake that at the time was the largest Southern California quake in 20 years. Both were centered near Ridgecrest in the Mojave Desert.

Kern County fire officials reported “multiple injuries and multiple fires” without providing details. San Bernardino County firefighters reported cracked buildings and a minor injury.

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8:30 p.m.

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 has jolted Southern California, but there are no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake hit at 8:19 p.m. Friday and was centered 11 miles from Ridgecrest, where a magnitude 6.4 quake struck on Thursday. The agency initially said the earthquake had a magnitude of 7.1.

The quake was felt downtown as a rolling motion that seemed to last at least a half-minute. It was felt as far away as Las Vegas, and the USGS says it also was felt in Mexico.

If the preliminary magnitude is correct, it would be the largest Southern California quake in 20 years.

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4 p.m.

Seismologists say there have been 1,700 aftershocks in the wake of the strongest earthquake to hit Southern California in 20 years but the chances of another large temblor are diminishing.

A magnitude 5.4 quake at 4:07 a.m. Friday is so far the strongest aftershock of Thursday’s 6.4 quake, which struck in the Mojave Desert near the town of Ridgecrest.

Zachary Ross of the California Institute of Technology says the number of aftershocks might be slightly higher than average. He also says a quake of that size could continue producing aftershocks for years.

The quake caused some damage to buildings and roads in and around Ridgecrest.

However, seismologists say it’s unlikely the quake will affect any fault lines away from the immediate area, such as the mighty San Andreas.

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1:20 p.m.

The city of Los Angeles is planning to reduce the threshold for public notifications by its earthquake early warning app, but officials say it was in the works before Southern California’s big earthquake Thursday.

The ShakeAlert LA app was designed to notify users of magnitudes of 5.0 or greater and when a separate intensity scale predicts potentially damaging shaking.

Robert de Groot of the U.S. Geological Survey says lowering the magnitude to 4.5 was already being worked on and had been discussed with LA as recently as a day before Thursday’s magnitude 6.4 quake centered in the Mojave Desert.

The shaking intensity levels predicted for LA were below damaging levels, so an alert was not triggered.

Mayor’s office spokeswoman Andrea Garcia also says the lower magnitude threshold has been in the planning stages and an update to the system is expected this month.

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7:05 a.m.

A vigorous aftershock sequence is following the strongest earthquake to hit Southern California in 20 years.

A magnitude 5.4 quake at 4:07 a.m. Friday is so far the strongest aftershock of Thursday’s magnitude 6.4 jolt, and was felt widely.

Seismologists had said there was an 80% probability of an aftershock of that strength.

Thursday’s big quake struck in the Mojave Desert, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles, near the town of Ridgecrest, which suffered damage to buildings and roads.

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9 p.m.

The strongest earthquake in 20 years shook a large swath of Southern California and parts of Nevada on the July 4th holiday, rattling nerves and causing injuries and damage in a town near the epicenter, followed by a swarm of ongoing aftershocks.

The 6.4 magnitude quake struck at 10:33 a.m. Thursday in the Mojave Desert, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles, near the town of Ridgecrest, California.

Kern County Fire Chief David Witt says multiple injuries and two house fires were reported in the town of 28,000. Emergency crews were also dealing with small vegetation fires, gas leaks and reports of cracked roads.

Witt says 15 patients were evacuated from the Ridgecrest Regional Hospital as a precaution and out of concern for aftershocks.

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Boy Scout ranch focuses on wildfire recovery as season nears

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Tucked away in the foothills of the southern Rockies, the Philmont Scout Ranch has become a holy grail, its stretches of untamed wilderness and challenging backcountry treks drawing more than 1 million Boy Scouts and other adventurers from across the United States over the past 80 years.

For many of those who have spent time at the mountain retreat, they can’t get enough. It gets in the blood, it’s infectious and it’s the reason there was so much heartbreak last year when a wildfire ripped through the heart of the ranch.

Dozens of miles of trails were wiped out along with campsites, leaving behind a scar that will take years and millions of dollars to restore.

The work is necessary, ranch managers and troop leaders say, pointing to Philmont as a crown jewel of the scouting experience.

“There’s just a real sense of loss, kind of a grieving process so to speak,” said Roger Hoyt, a longtime Scout leader and Philmont’s general manager. “But at the end of the day, nature does renew itself and I think from the tragedy and the heartache comes this sense of renewal and opportunity.”

More than a half-million dollars already has been raised and the rebuilding effort is well underway with the installation of 85 new campsites and work to shore up some of the ash-covered hillsides.

Crews were sidelined in January due to snow, but work has resumed in the lower elevations as the clock ticks down for the start of the summer season.

And it will be a banner season with a record number of Scouts — possibly as many as 24,000 — expected to pass through Philmont, Hoyt said. Some of them initially planned to make the trek in 2018 but were derailed due to the fire and the subsequent closure of the backcountry.

With nearly one-fifth of Philmont blackened, the ranch is not alone in its new mission to become more resilient as western land managers face larger and hotter wildfires fueled by overgrown forests and dry conditions.

In 2018, more than 8.7 million acres (13,594 square miles) burned across the U.S., with most of that being in the West, according to the National Interagency Fire Center . Records were broken in California, which marked its deadliest and most destructive blaze in November as the town of Paradise was destroyed and 85 people were killed.

Scientists have said the 2018 season was part of a longer trend of larger and more frequent fires in the western United States.

In New Mexico, more than 382,000 acres (597 square miles) burned in 2018 and the state has seen its largest and most destructive fires on record within the last decade.

Hoyt estimates Philmont Scout Ranch will spend $1 million in the next year on conservation and fire mitigation projects. That includes addressing silt that’s washing down from barren slopes to clearing fuel from the forest floor, thinning trees and creating fuel breaks to keep fires from racing across other parts of the ranch.

While the work is relatively low-cost, it’s labor intensive, Hoyt said.

In March alone, 140 volunteers spent over 6,000 hours on fire mitigation and restoration projects.

Within two years, he hopes pockets of the burned area can be used as an outdoor classroom for visiting Scouts.

On the other side of the country, members of Troop 715 are preparing for this summer’s journey to Philmont. The Richmond, Virginia-based group was gathering over the weekend for a 2-mile (3-kilometer) backpacking trip so they could learn about what gear to take and what to leave behind. They’ll eventually work up to covering 10 miles (16 kilometers) a day.

Then there’s the first aid training and other skills that will help when they’re far from civilization, said Scout Master Steve Tyler, who will be accompanied by his sons, including one who is an Eagle Scout and will have just graduated the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Aside from being immersed in what Tyler calls “big sky country,” he said another highlight is summiting Baldy Mountain — a 12,441-foot (3,793-meter) peak on Philmont’s northern boundary not far from the Colorado border.

“Around here, the horizon is about 100 yards away and you’re looking at a tall oak tree,” Tyler said of his Virginia surroundings. “So it’s very, very different out there. It is a special experience.”

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Scientists release most detailed map of Teton quake fault

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Scientists have completed the most detailed map yet of one of North America’s most spectacular geologic faults with the hope of providing a better understanding of the earthquake risk at a popular vacation destination.

Millions of tourists visit Jackson Hole, Wyoming, every year to sightsee, hike or ski the Teton Range, which was formed by the Teton fault.

Upward slippage of the fault’s western edge has pushed the mountains to their present height of some 7,000 feet (2,130 meters) above Jackson Hole in Grand Teton National Park.

The fault ranks among the fastest moving in the Rocky Mountain region. Scientists think it could produce an earthquake as powerful as magnitude 7.5, which would cause serious damage.

Research shows the Teton fault last ruptured more than 5,000 years ago. Whether the fault is overdue for a big quake is unknown, geologists said Friday.

“We’re always speaking in geologic time, which is thousands of years or hundreds of thousands of years,” Wyoming State Geologist Erin Campbell said.

Earthquakes are common in the region. In 1959, a magnitude-7.3 quake in a different fault area west of Yellowstone National Park in Montana killed 28 people, many of them buried by a landslide that blocked the Madison River.

The Wyoming State Geological Survey released the new map of the Teton fault this week. Copies may be downloaded for free or purchased online for $25.

Researchers created the map with equipment that involves using laser pulses to measure distances precisely.

Aircraft with the equipment flew up and down the Teton fault to create precise images of the terrain, helping geologists pinpoint the fault’s location.

Geologists who study the fault often focus on scarps revealing the fault line at the foot of the mountains. There, they’ve dug trenches to look closely at how the fault has moved since the last glacial period ended 15,000 years ago.

Landslides and lakes cover the fault in places but scarps up to 125 feet (38 meters) high make its exact location obvious in others.

“It almost appears like a wall in the forest in some spots,” said the map’s lead author, Mark Zellman, of earth sciences consulting firm BGC Engineering Inc.

U.S. Geological Survey research geologist Christopher DuRoss and Idaho State University geology professor Glenn Thackray also helped create the map, which extends the fault about six miles (10 kilometers) farther south than was previously known.

Seth Wittke of the Wyoming State Geological Survey and others reviewed the work and went to the field to check its accuracy.

“This is a good kind of starting point in defining the fault itself, and some work that’s been done along it, for future research,” Wittke said.

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Follow Mead Gruver at https://twitter.com/meadgruver



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