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US Wildfires, coronavirus and an earthquake collided for California's terrible week

15:05  20 september  2020
15:05  20 september  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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California has been trying to contain the surge of coronavirus cases that started in the summer while dozens of wildfires are burning and smoke is making it hard to breathe. Then, an earthquake .

It was long, dizzying week to be a Californian . The Golden State has been trying to contain the The Golden State has been trying to contain the surge of coronavirus cases that started in the summer while dozens of wildfires are burning and smoke is making it hard to breathe.

It was long, dizzying week to be a Californian.

a man standing in front of a large city landscape: Smoke from multiple Southern California wildfires was drifting over the Los Angeles area on Thursday. © Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images Smoke from multiple Southern California wildfires was drifting over the Los Angeles area on Thursday.

The Golden State has been trying to contain the surge of coronavirus cases that started in the summer while dozens of wildfires are burning and smoke is making it hard to breathe. Then, as if not enough crises had collided, Southern California was caught in the clutches of yet another hazard -- an earthquake.

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California was forced to contend in one week with the triple threat of wildfires , the coronavirus and an earthquake . The Golden State has been under siege by wildfires that burned more than 3.4 million acres scorched so far this year, killed at least 26 people and destroyed numerous homes, CNN

With much of northern California still under lockdown and wildfires raging across the state, Corinne Perham’ s nine-year-old daughter recently asked: can coronavirus and fire make people extinct? “The children of Chico are so resilient,” Perham, 44, told the Guardian told this week , adding that her

Here's more about what people in California faced last week:

Wildfires pushed them to flee their homes

As more than 19,000 firefighters scrambled to contain multiple blazes in the state, they had to mourn one of their own, officials said.

A firefighter was killed Thursday in Southern California's El Dorado Fire, the blaze sparked this month by a botched gender reveal party, according to the San Bernardino National Forest Service.

The state has seen more than 3.4 million acres scorched so far this year, killing 26 people and reducing hundreds of homes to ashes.

Numerous communities were ordered to evacuate after the Bobcat Fire in Los Angeles County exploded to 91,000 acres, fueled by strong winds.

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LeRoy Westerling, a University of California Merced expert on wildfires and the weather that drives them, has had his home in Mariposa County threatened twice by fires in recent years. Latest from this section. Wildfires , coronavirus and an earthquake collided for California ' s terrible week .

" California historically experiences some of the most devastating wildfires in the months of September and October. Do not let your guard down!" emphasized Cal Fire . Wildfires , coronavirus and an earthquake collided for California ' s terrible week .

Fire officials have warned that warn and dry conditions could elevate the danger of fire over the coming days.

Smoke put their health at risk

Smoke from the devastating wildfires has stretched for miles, creating hazardous air conditions in California and nearby states.

The air was so full of smoke in San Francisco earlier this week that it ranked among the top big cities with worst air quality in the world, according to IQAir, a group which tracks global air quality.

The smoke has impacted other cities, including Los Angeles and even Yosemite National Park, which the National Park Service closed to all visitors last week because conditions were in the unhealthy and hazardous range.

The vast amounts of thick smoke from the wildfires has also traveled across the rest of the country and even reached Northern Europe, according to data from Europe's Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

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Wildfires , coronavirus and an earthquake collided for California ' s terrible week . (CNN) It was long, dizzying week to be a Californian . The Golden State has been trying to contain the surge of coronavirus cases that started in the summer

Extreme weather set the stage for the blazes tearing through cities and rural areas. They are likely to continue for weeks .

Pandemic is threatening their lives

The state appears to be making progress to slow down the spread of coronavirus, but the threat lingers.

Hospitalizations have dropped 22% in the past two weeks and the percentage of tests coming back positive is down to 3.6% after a surge in cases over the summer, Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a news briefing on Wednesday.

"We are moving forward and seeing a decline in the rate of spread and transmission of Covid-19," Newsom said.

So far, there have been 782,828 coronavirus cases in California and 14,972 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

But wildfires have become a challenge for health officials. Newsom said access to state's mobile testing sites has been impacted by air quality issues.

An earthquake added even more anxiety

Pictures were rattling on the wall, plants were knocked over and some people woke up to beds shaking.

An earthquake hit near the city of El Monte -- east of downtown Los Angeles --late Friday night, but it was felt widely in San Diego, Valencia and the San Fernando Valley areas, the US Geological Survey said.

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The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. Wildfires , coronavirus and an earthquake collided for California ' s terrible week .

California ' s fire departments face a two-front crisis during the hot and dry months of summer during the coronavirus pandemic. It has been a brutal summer for firefighters in The map below shows where California ' s wildfires are burning (updated daily). The red fire symbols classify the fire by acres.

"What a jolt! We felt it too. No need to call 9-1-1 unless you have an emergency," the San Gabriel Police Department tweeted.

While there were no reports of serious injuries or damage, it was a reminder for those in the greater Los Angeles area that the earthquake risk is far from over.

"It's a wake up call, reminds you that we do have earthquakes here. We have enough disasters going on right now, I'm like everybody else, I rather not have something else in 2020," Lucy Jones, a seismologist with the California Institute of Technology, told CNN affiliate KABC.

While experts can't fully predict quake aftershocks, Jones says, the chances of a subsequent larger quake is usually less than 5%.

a man that is standing in the dark: Parts of southern California were ordered to evacuate as the Bobcat Fire torched more than 91,000 acres. © Ringo Chiu/Reuters Parts of southern California were ordered to evacuate as the Bobcat Fire torched more than 91,000 acres. a group of people sitting at a table with a laptop: Health workers were performing Covid-19 tests for students and faculty at the University Prep Value High School in Los Angeles. © Kevin Winter/Getty Images Health workers were performing Covid-19 tests for students and faculty at the University Prep Value High School in Los Angeles.

Video: Fire victims get first look at homes destroyed by wildfires (CNN)

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