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Flooding And Mudslides Force Thousands To Flee In California, 18 Dead, State Of Emergency Over Flu Epidemic, Swarm Of Quakes Shake South Reno

Flooding And Mudslides Force Thousands To Flee In California, 18 Dead, State Of Emergency Over Flu Epidemic, Swarm Of Quakes Shake South Reno

18 dead, others missing after flooding and mudslides force thousands to flee in California

At least 18 people are dead, including four children, when heavy rain unleashed flash floods, mudslides and debris flow in California this week, according to Santa Barbara County officials.

PHOTO: Emergency personnel evacuate local residents and their dogs after a mudslide in Montecito, Calif., Jan. 9, 2018. (Kenneth Song/Santa Barbara News-Press via Reuters)

Those killed were as young as 3 and as old as 84. At least 28 people were wounded in the storm, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
Santa Barbara County officials said today that five people are missing, adding that the list is constantly fluctuating. An active search and rescue operation is ongoing, officials said.
Hundreds of people have already been rescued, many of whom had to be hoisted out of the mud-filled area by aircraft, officials said.
Santa Barbara County’s fire chief said almost the entirety of Montecito, except for a small section in the southeast, was under mandatory evacuation orders on Thursday. The order covers about 10,000 residents, and officials said it could last “one to two weeks.”
PHOTO: A firefighter stands on the roof of a house submerged in mud and rocks, Jan. 10, 2018, in Montecito, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

PHOTO: A woman looks at the 101 freeway from Olive Mill Road in Montecito, Calif., Jan. 9. 2018, after heavy rainfall brought mudslides and debris cascading down from hillsides denuded by recent wildfires. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Polaris)

The rate of rainfall in Southern California Tuesday was 18 times more than required to produce debris flow, according to an analysis by ABC News meteorologists.
Montecito alone saw heavy rainfall in a short amount of time. Because hundreds of thousands of acres were charred in the fires, the influx of water has nowhere to go.
Some homes in Montecito’s affluent community have been ripped from their foundations as a result of the torrential conditions. About 65 single-family homes were destroyed and another 462 were damaged. Meanwhile, eight commercial structures were destroyed and 20 commercial structures were damaged, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

PHOTO: Aerial view of Montecito, Calif., where mud and debris covers roads, homes and everything in it's path following heavy rains, Jan. 9, 2018. (VCAirUnit/Twitter)

Aerial footage over Montecito showed a contrast of widespread damage next to homes completely untouched by the disaster. The roofs of some homes in canyon runoff areas were encased in mud, which has now dried.
The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management said Tuesday night that Montecito would be without potable water, electricity and sanitation “for an extended period of time.”
Local fire officials reported rescuing several people in the area, including a mother and her daughter who were caked in mud.

Citing a strain on “overwhelmed” health resources, Governor Kay Ivey declared an official State of Emergencyin Alabama on Thursday due to the rapidly spreading flu epidemic.

According to the CDC, this is the worst outbreak in their 13 years of tracking influenza.

The reason this year’s flu season is more severe than usual is because it involves the dreaded H3N2, a strain of the influenza A virus that causes more health complications and is more difficult to prevent.
H3N2 hits people harder than other seasonal flu strains and can be especially deadly among vulnerable groups like the elderly and children. Researchers still aren’t sure why, but they’ve found that a flu season involving the H3 virus is generally nastier — with more hospitalizations and flu-related deaths — than seasons involving mostly H1N1 or influenza B viruses.
This year, more than 80 percent of flu cases involve H3N2 strain. And the CDC’s Jernigan reported that there were 22.7 hospitalizations related to flu per 100,000 population during the week of December 31, 2017, to January 6, 2018. That’s a doubling from 13.7 the week before. “We’re seeing a rapid rise in the number of people being hospitalized,” Jernigan said. (source)
But it isn’t just Alabama.

18 people have died in Dallas, Texas from the flu, 4 in Tennessee, and 27 have died in California. Hospital waiting rooms are jammed with flu victims, the doctors are running out of medication, ambulance services are strained and even IV bags are in short supply. Influenza is impacting 46 states.
In total, the flu has killed 85 adults and 20 children in the United States and last week, the CDC reported that the hospitalization rate for people with the flu DOUBLED.
Here’s the CDC’s map of the flu’s spread throughout the US as of the last day of 2017.

As mentioned above, 80% of the cases in the US are H3N2. As usual, although this year’s flu vaccination does NOT protect against the H3N2 strain, “experts” are still urging everyone to get a shot anyone. (Despite the fact that some numbers say it is only 10% effective.)

After entering someone’s body—usually via the eyes, nose or mouth—the influenza virus begins hijacking human cells in the nose and throat to make copies of itself. The overwhelming viral hoard triggers a strong response from the immune system, which sends battalions of white blood cells, antibodies and inflammatory molecules to eliminate the threat. T cells attack and destroy tissue harboring the virus, particularly in the respiratory tract and lungs where the virus tends to take hold. In most healthy adults this process works, and they recover within days or weeks. But sometimes the immune system’s reaction is too strong, destroying so much tissue in the lungs that they can no longer deliver enough oxygen to the blood, resulting in hypoxia and death.
In other cases it is not the flu virus itself that triggers an overwhelming and potentially fatal immune response but rather a secondary infection that takes advantage of a taxed immune system. Typically, bacteria—often a species of Streptococcus or Staphylococcus—infect the lungs. A bacterial infection in the respiratory tract can potentially spread to other parts of the body and the blood, even leading to septic shock: a life-threatening, body-wide, aggressive inflammatory response that damages multiple organs. Based on autopsy studies, Kathleen Sullivan, chief of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, estimates about one third of people who die from flu-related causes expire because the virus overwhelms the immune system; another third die from the immune response to secondary bacterial infections, usually in the lungs; and the remaining third perish due to the failure of one or more other organs. (source)

Social isolation is the best way to keep your family healthy, but in a world where we work and go to school, this isn’t always possible. A strict handwashing regimen can also help lessen the likelihood of contracting the flu.
Worst case scenario, if you DO get sick, please don’t hesitate to seek medical attention if you need it. This virus can kill otherwise healthy people within days.

A swarm of nearly 100 small earthquakes has been shaking the ground in northern Nevada but experts say they’ve been so tiny most people didn’t even notice.

The University of Nevada, Reno’s Seismological Laboratory say more than 90 events were confirmed on the south edge of town between 10:30 p.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. Friday in an area where the Mount Rose Highway intersects with U.S. Interstate 580.

The largest was a magnitude 2.6.

Ken Smith, the lab’s associate director, says they are monitoring the situation closely and updating local emergency management officials in case the sequence evolves to a larger, damaging earthquake.

Source: Flooding And Mudslides Force Thousands To Flee In California, 18 Dead, State Of Emergency Over Flu Epidemic, Swarm Of Quakes Shake South Reno