In a turn of events that sounds like it’s straight out of an apocalyptic Tom Cruise flick, California continues to be struck by not only wildfires, but as of today, an earthquake and flooding, too. The earthquake occurred Tuesday morning near one of the wildfires in Lake County, and it registered a 3.2 magnitude on the Richter scale. For reference, anything between a 3.0 and 3.9 on the scale can normally be felt by people but will rarely cause significant damage. The flooding occurred in Los Angeles, with other parts of southern California receiving significant amounts of rain as well.
Though several live wildfires are currently raging through northern California, some are quite contained – “quite” being a relative term. One of the wildfires near Gold Rush county is approximately 30 percent contained, while another wildfire nearby is 40 percent contained. This is good news, considering the fires’ proximity to lush sequoias nearby, some of which are 3,000 years old.
A whopping 11,000 and counting firefighters are currently battling the wildfires, and not without casualties. Four firefighters have been reported as injured, with a possibility of more unreported injuries. A female civilian has also reportedly died in her home as a result of the fires. She was 72 and suffered from multiple sclerosis. Thus far, that is the only fatal casualty.
In an ironic twist, Los Angeles has been receiving an excess of rain that the northern half of California so desperately needs. There has been flooding reported from the Los Angeles River, and, according to the National Weather Service, parts of Southern California received up to one third of an inch of precipitation every hour. By 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, Los Angeles had received 1.7 inches of rain. There are no reported casualties as a result of the flooding, but several people did have to be rescued, and the roads became clogged up.
Since the wildfires began, almost 600 homes have been completely decimated, and 9,000 are currently threatened by the fires’ paths. According to California’s emergency services director, 13,000 people have been displaced by the wildfires. As of yet, there has been no speculation about why this trifecta of natural disasters occurred, but there is sure to be talk of climate change and global warming just around the corner.