We`re explaining news happening around the world, starting with evacuations of thousands of people in southern California. Huge parts of this region had been scorched by wildfires over the past year and a half, and that`s partly responsible for the latest disaster people there are facing.
Mudslides, heavy rains have been falling in places like Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
And because the fires burned away so much vegetation in the area, there are fewer trees and bushes to help prevent floods. So, mud, tree limbs, and garbage are flowing like rivers, sweeping across busy roads and they’ve wiped several homes off their foundations.
This area is no stranger to mudslides. An official from the National Weather Service says they can be caused by a rainfall rate of a half inch per hour.
On Tuesday, some parts of southern California got more than three times that in an hour. That`s led authorities to give evacuation warnings or orders to tens of thousands of people.
One of the alerts from officials in Santa Barbara County said simply, leave debris flow areas now. Go to high ground.
A resident named Benjamin Hyatt who sent CNN these pictures said that two to three feet of mud surrounded his house in an instant, like a dam breaking. Officials say at least five people have been killed in these storms, and last night, more rain was expected, worsening fears of flooding.