News Tropical Storm Pabuk hits Thailand’s beaches with rain and surging seas
Just after clocks struck midnight on New Year’s Eve in the central United States, a major pileup occurred involving more than 20 vehicles near Austin, Texas. Dozens were reportedly injured.
(Austin Fire Department)
Austin-Travis County Emergency Management Service (ATCEMS) responded about 1:24 a.m. local time Tuesday to reports of multiple collisions in dense fog near southbound State Highway 130 and Harold Green Road, according to tweets from EMS.
Paramedics evaluated 56 people and took nine to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries ranging from mild to serious, the ATCEMS reported in a tweet.
Rain drenched millions who rang in the new year in Times Square.
It was a mild evening with temperatures in the 50s and 40s, but rain led to a wet celebration.
Confetti sticks to umbrellas as revelers make their way through a rainy Times Square shortly after midnight New Year’s Day, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
Intense rain and winds swept across parts of the southeastern U.S. on New Year’s Eve.
In Clarksville, Tennessee, along the Kentucky border, several homes were badly damaged. While no one was injured, at least one home was completely destroyed after a tree toppled over.
While flash flood warnings were widespread, the rain did not cause significant flooding for most of the area.
A winter storm stretched across the south-central U.S. this week, dropping up to 6 inches of snow in parts of Texas and Oklahoma.
The wintry weather caused widespread travel disruptions across the region, contributing to accidents on major highways during the Wednesday evening commute and through much of Thursday.
Four people were killed in traffic accidents on Thursday in Oklahoma, the Associated Press reported.Slush still causing slide offs in Southwestern Oklahoma #okwx #snow @accuweather @breakingweatherAcross the globe, Indonesia was struck by a landslide amid rounds of heavy rain that killed at least 15 people on Monday.More than 500 rescue personnel worked to uncover survivors or missing people on Tuesday. The deadly mudslide took place in the village of Sirnaresmi in West Java.Indonesia AP
Late December through early March is the wettest time of the year for much of Indonesia. Flooding and mudslides have become a more common occurrence in recent years due to more frequent torrential rainfall and deforestation.
At least eight people were killed and more than a dozen others injured following a train accident on a bridge in Denmark this week.
The accident occurred during a period of high winds with frequent wind gusts of 65-80 km/h (40-50 mph) across the region.
Initial reports from the Associated Press indicated that cargo from a freight train struck a passing passenger train on the Great Belt Bridge, which connects the islands of Zealand and Funen.
The bridge is part of a transportation system that supports both automobiles and rail traffic. Due to the high winds, automobiles were restricted from traveling on the bridge Tuesday night. However, rail traffic was allowed to continue with normal service.
An avalanche occurred in Norway on Wednesday, which likely claimed the lives of four skiers reported missing after it occurred. According to the AP, the 990-foot-wide avalanche occurred near the city of Tromsoe. The skiers included a woman from Sweden and three men from Finland.
Join Everything Under the Sun’s host Regina Miller as she discussed the Blizzard of 1996 with two AccuWeather Expert Meteorologists, Dave Dombek and Paul Pastelok who were on hand during that paralyzing storm. Learn how forecasts were prepared back then and how technology has changed over the years, allowing for more accurate forecasts and dissemination of our weather forecasts and warnings.
MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the search of a partially collapsed apartment building in Russia: (all times local):
Russia’s emergencies ministry says the search of the concrete rubble from a partially collapsed apartment building has ended and the number of deaths stands at 39.
The ministry declared the operation by hundreds of rescue workers completed Thursday, three-and-a-half days after a section of a 10-story apartment block collapsed in an explosion.
A 10-month-old boy pulled from the wreckage in the city of Magnitorgorsk on Tuesday was the only person found alive in the debris. He is being treated in Moscow for serious injuries and was described as being in stable condition on Thursday.
The death toll from the collapse of a Russian apartment building has risen to 37 after more bodies were discovered by crews searching the huge pile of concrete rubble.
State news agency Tass cited an emergencies ministry official on Thursday as saying four people who lived in the collapsed section of the building in Magnitogorsk remain unaccounted for.
The collapse on Monday followed an explosion that officials say likely was caused by a gas leak.
An 11-month-old boy was extracted from the wreckage alive on Tuesday and was flown to Moscow for treatment of injuries including frostbite. Nighttime temperatures in the city 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) southeast of Moscow have fallen to about minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 Fahrenheit).
Passengers check the timetable after an earthquake stopped and delayed some train services at JR Kumamoto station in Kumamoto, western Japan, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. An earthquake shook southwestern Japan on Thursday, but there were no immediate reports of damage and a tsunami watch was lifted within an hour. (Kyodo News via AP)TOKYO (AP) — An earthquake shook southwestern Japan on Thursday, but there were no immediate reports of damage and a tsunami watch was lifted within an hour.The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake measured a preliminary magnitude 5.0, rattling the Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Kumamoto areas in the southwest of the main island of Kyushu.Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said an emergency team was set up to check on any damage. At his second news conference two hours after the quake, he said no deaths or injuries had been reported and no emergency calls for firefighters or other rescue had been made.The two nuclear plants in the area had been confirmed as operating regularly, and Kumamoto airport, which had been temporarily shut down, was back up two hours later, and bullet train services were halted but being readied to resume, Suga told reporters. After quakes, tracks and runways are checked for safety.Power, water and mobile phone services were also working, Suga said.National broadcaster NHK TV warned people to stay calm and watch against dangers such as shaking, mudslides and items falling from shelves, as well as aftershocks.TV news footage showed that traffic lights and other lights the buildings were working, and pedestrians on city streets were walking about as usual.Japan is one of the most earthquake- and tsunami-prone areas in the world.Kyushu was struck by a series of earthquake in 2016, which smashed homes, warped roads and damaged a castle in the area, leaving nine people dead and more than 800 injured. Thousands of people were evacuated.In 2011, the northeastern area of Fukushima was hit by a quake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl._Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama
On Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yurikageyama/?hl=en
Nearly 400,000 workers have been off the federal payroll since the government shutdown began at midnight on Dec. 22. Their last checks, covering the middle two weeks of December, went out Jan. 3, but the workers will not receive their regular pay on Jan. 17 for the pay period ending Saturday — potentially forcing them to put off bills or reduce expenses.
Four out of 10 Americans have less than $400 in the bank to cover emergencies.
While most workers received back pay after previous shutdowns, there’s no guarantee that will be the case this time around. Some contract workers, including janitors, security guards and administrative staff, won’t receive back pay at all. Congress has to pass — and the president has to sign — legislation that specifically authorizes the government to pay federal employees for the time they were on furlough.
Officials of unions representing federal workers are concerned about receiving makeup pay, citing President Trump’s recent decision to freeze scheduled salary raises via executive order. It’s even possible that essential personnel such as TSA agents and law enforcement officers, who are required to perform scheduled shifts to avoid losing their jobs, will not be paid for the hours they’ve worked during the shutdown.
“There’s not another company in the United States of America that could force employees to go to work and not guarantee them their pay,” said David Fitzpatrick, a representative for the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) union. “None. Zero. What company would you work for that said ‘Well, you’ll have to come to work, but there’s no guarantee we’ll pay you?’”
When asked during a press conference Friday about a safety net for federal workers losing pay, Trump said, “The safety net will be a strong border, because we’re going to be safe. I’m not talking about economically, but ultimately, economically, I really believe that these people … believe in what we’re doing.”
Fitzpatrick is personally stuck in limbo: He was supposed to retire from the National Park Service on Dec. 30, but with the shutdown, he’s been unable to file the necessary paperwork, so he’s not even sure he still is a federal employee. When he attempted to find out whether he could complete the process during the shutdown, the personnel officer he needed to speak with had also been furloughed.
As an unintended consequence of the shutdown, a pay freeze for top administration officials that had been in effect since 2013 expired — meaning that Cabinet officers, deputies and other top administrators will receive raises of around $10,000. CNN reported Friday that hundreds of TSA screeners are calling in sick at major airports, some to work other jobs that can pay them.
The shutdown is also an impediment to workers hoping to make ends meet with temporary jobs. Steve Reaves, the union president for Federal Emergency Management Agency, told Yahoo News that moonlighting in other contract gigs during the shutdown requires managerial approval. The problem is that most of the staff needed to approve those requests are also furloughed, and approvals are what he called “more miss than hit” at this point. Employees who perform unapproved contract work during the shutdown would risk dismissal.
Another possible problem for FEMA employees is the risk of missing bill payments, and receiving credit-score downgrades as a result. Reaves explained that many FEMA workers, most making $52,000 to $75,000 a year, have security clearances, which could be revoked if their credit scores fall. Reaves said the repeated shutdowns in recent years and the lack of job security have resulted in the loss of many FEMA employees, weakening the agency.
“We’ve lost a lot of excellent talent because of the frequent furloughs and the frequent threats of furloughs,” said Reaves. “When these big disasters do happen, the people we’ve spent years training and years building these relationships with in the state and municipality governments end up resigning and taking jobs with the municipality or private company, because there’s more security. We’re losing that talent that we’re spending years and years and millions of dollars training, and it makes us a weaker agency overall.”
He warned that the agency wouldn’t have the ability to deal with a natural disaster during the shutdown.
“They’ve kind of got a contingency plan, but overall, the response won’t be equal,” said Reaves. “Let’s say the big one hit right now and California fell into the ocean. There’d be no way FEMA could respond.”
The shutdown is affecting nearly every arm of the government, and 95 percent of NASA employees have been furloughed. That doesn’t mean any astronauts will be left adrift: The “excepted” employees include those who are “performing work essential to prevent imminent threats to human life or the protection of property,” according to a memo from the agency. This includes “tracking, operation, and support of the International Space Station (ISS).”
A number of museums in Washington, D.C., have now closed due to lack of funding. The National Zoo and Smithsonian museums used “prior-year funds” to stay open through the New Year but closed on Jan. 1. The National Gallery, which was using “unexpired two-year and no-year appropriations,” closed Thursday.
National parks have remained open, but certain areas are closed due to lack of staffing and overflowing toilets. At Joshua Tree National Park in California, campgrounds were shut down for “health and safety concerns as vault toilets reach capacity” while a sign urged visitors to „Pack out your trash. There are no trash services at this time.” In Yosemite, a number of campgrounds and snow play areas are “closed due to human waste issues and lack of staffing.”
While the Department of Veterans Affairs, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security is funded, nutritional programs could be reduced or eliminated at the local level if the shutdown continues. There are serious concerns on Native American reservations, where services provided by the federal government, ranging from clearing snow from roads to distributing food, are affected. The federal court system is set to run out of money on Jan. 11, at which point workers will begin to be sent home.
(YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif.) — A man died after falling into a river at Yosemite National Park on Christmas Day, the National Park Service said Friday.
The man apparently slipped down Silver Apron, a large, sloping granite area above Nevada Fall, and suffered a head injury, government spokesman Andrew Munoz said in a statement. The ongoing investigation is taking longer than usual because of the partial government shutdown, he said.
Munoz said rangers responding to a 911 call arrived on scene in less than an hour and pulled the man, who has not been identified, from the water.
“Medical attention was provided to the visitor, but he died from his injuries,” Munoz said.
The man’s death was first reported by Outside Magazine, which noted that at least 10 people died in the park last year, including another man who slipped and fell to his death near Nevada Fall.
No further details on the Dec. 25 fatality were released.
Munoz said the park didn’t issue a press release about the death because of the shutdown, which began two weeks ago and forced furloughs of hundreds of thousands of federal government employees.
Yosemite remains open to visitors during the shutdown, and crowds of visitors have been driving into the park to take advantage of free admission. This week, the park announced new access limitations and several closed areas within the park because of problems with human waste, damage to resources and other public safety concerns during the shutdown.
Under the park service’s shutdown plan, law enforcement staff remains on duty.
Munoz said the visitor was not in a closed area when he fell.