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Thousands of cattle die in heat wave in California, USA

Central California’s largest rendering plant is overwhelmed by the number of cows that died during a June heat wave, so officials are allowing dairy farmers to bury or compost hundreds of carcasses. 
 
The unusual run of heat last month – including nine straight days of triple-digit temperatures — and a mechanical malfunction at Baker Commodities have contributed to the overload at the plant, the Fresno Bee reported Friday. 
 
Because of the excess carcasses, Baker stopped picking up from farms, leaving farmers without a place to send their dead animals. 
 
Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner Les Wesley told CBS affiliate KGPE-TVan estimated 4,000 to 6,000 livestock died in June due to the heat wave.
 
To handle the problem, Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties had to take the unusual step of giving dairies permission to bury or compost the animals on site under a strict set of temporary rules outlined by state water and agricultural agencies. The three counties declared a state of emergency, clearing the way for the disposal methods. 
 
Baker normally processes about 1 million pounds of animal flesh a day, said Wayne Fox, division manager of environmental health at Fresno County Department of Public Health. 
 
The company had ratcheted up its capacity to 1.5 million pounds per day before a daylong machinery malfunction significantly slowed the rendering process, said Fresno County Board of Supervisors Chairman Brian Pacheco, who is a dairy farmer. “They’ve worked through it, but they have been getting further and further behind,” Pacheco said. 
 
Once the animals decompose to a certain point, they can’t be rendered, Pacheco said. 
 
This isn’t the first time there has been a heat-related disaster for livestock owners, according to the newspaper. San Joaquin Valley farmers went through a similar crisis in 2006 when nearly $300 million in losses were reported because of the heat. In Kings County, 1,834 milk cows valued at $3.7 million died. 
 
It is too soon for county officials to know how many animals died in this heat wave.
 
Courtesy of khou.com

Power cuts affect 140,000 in Los Angeles after fire at storage plant

The fire and explosion left thousands of people without power
The fire left around 140,000 residents without power
More than 140,000 residents were left without power after a blaze at a power plant in Los Angeles.
 
Power had to be cut to allow firefighters to battle the fire at the Los Angeles department of water and power plant in North San Fernando Valley.
 
More than 80 firefighters fought the fire which broke out in a storage vault containing 50,000-60,000 gallons of mineral oil.
 
Local people reported the sound of an explosion but this has not been confirmed.
 
Much of the blaze on Saturday was out within two hours but firefighters were expected to stay at the scene to monitor possible flare-ups.
 
Drivers in the area were advised to take extra care as many roads would be without lights due to the power outage.
More than 80 firefighters fought the blaze
More than 80 firefighters fought the blaze
Officials were not able to say when power might be restored at the plant which serves 1.6 million customers in Los Angeles.
 
An employee said work was going on around the clock to restore power. He said: “It’s got to be done. People are without power.”
 
In a statement, the plant said: “The fire affected one portion of the receiving station, but as an emergency precautionary measure, power to and from the facility has been shut off while Los Angeles fire department personnel work to put the fire out.
Firefighters battle the blaze
Firefighters battle the blaze
“As soon as possible, crews will assess damage at the station and begin the work of restoring power to affected customers.”
 
The incident happened as Los Angeles recorded a second day of record high temperatures that exceeded 90F (32C).
Courtesy of Sky News

Record temperatures help California wildfires spread as areas are evacuated

Firefighters battle through Oroville, California in Oroville
Firefighters battle through Oroville, California
Record-breaking temperatures have fuelled the spread of California wildfires as the mercury hit a sweltering 98F (36.6C) in Los Angeles.
 
It was the hottest in LA since the previous record of 95F (35C) was set 131 years ago.
 
Two wildfires have spread rapidly and threatened hundreds of homes, forcing evacuations at a lakeside camping ground and a summer camp where children and staff were temporarily trapped.
 
The blaze that broke out early on Saturday afternoon in California’s Santa Barbara County spread to both sides of Highway 154 and was “completely out of control”, county fire Captain Dave Zaniboni said.
A car is engulfed in flames in Oroville
A car is engulfed in flames in Oroville
Temperatures of up to 110F (43C) were predicted by forecasters for some inland areas and there were warnings that the elderly, children and outdoor workers could be at risk.
 
The heat and dry gusts helped fan more wildfires in Santa Barbara that spread over 30 square miles during an eight-hour period and forced the evacuation of about 200 homes in a rural area east of Santa Maria.
 
After five years of severe drought, California had record rainfall and snowfall in parts of the state this year which delayed the start of fire season in some areas.
 
However, this has also led to increased vegetation growth that could fuel future blazes.
 
In Northern California, a wildfire in Butte County spread through grassy foothills south of Oroville and destroyed 10 structures, including homes, with several people suffering minor injuries.
Motorists drive past the flames
Motorists drive past the flames
Evacuation orders were lifted in Colorado and Montana towns threatened by wildfires, as air and ground crews battled a growing grass fire in northwestern Colorado.
 
In Colorado, residents of nearly 500 homes outside the ski town of Breckenridge were allowed to return home on Friday night.
 
An evacuation order was lifted in Landusky, Montana, in the Little Rocky Mountains south of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation.
 
A wildfire in southern Wyoming spread over three miles and an unknown number of cabins remained under evacuation orders.
Courtesy of Sky News

Sunstroke toll rises to 16 in Odisha: Heatwaves take four more lives; Angul sizzles at 43.1 degrees Celsius

Sunstroke toll climbed to 16 in Odisha on Monday even as rains and a nor’wester (northwester) in some areas brought respite from the intense heat in the state.
 
The death toll due to sunstroke, which stood at 12, mounted to 16 this summer with four more casualties — three from Sundargarh and one in Angul district — the office of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) said in a statement.
 
With this, four heat-related deaths each have been reported from Sambalpur and Angul, while three deaths each took place in Bargarh and Sundargarh districts. One each in Balangir and Bhadrak, the statement said.
 
With the temperature sliding in many areas following rains, the mercury breached the 40 degrees Celsius mark in only seven places in the state, all in the western region.
 
Angul was the hottest place in the state recording 43.1 degrees Celsius followed by Hirakud where the mercury stood at 41.5 degrees Celsius, the MeT office here said.
 
Sambalpur recorded a maximum of 40.8 degrees Celsius, while it was 40.6 degrees Celsius in Malkangiri and Sonepur and 40.5 degrees Celsius in Balangir and Titlagarh, it said.
 
The drop in temperature was experienced after rains and thundershowers occurred in some areas under the impact of a depression, while a nor’wester appeared to have acted as a coolant in some parts of the state.
 
The state capital, Bhubaneswar, registered a maximum of 39.8 degrees Celsius while Cuttack recorded 38 degrees Celsius, it said.
 
The MeT forecasts rains and thundershower at a few places in the next 24 hours, it added.
Courtesy of firstpost.com

Severe heatwave forces residents to stay indoors in Mirpurkhas, Pakistan

The severe weather and scorching heat on Sunday forced people to stay indoors in the district. Almost all markets and roads presented a deserted look due to severe weather conditions. Muhammad Tarique, a poultry shopkeeper, said that a few people came to his shop on Sunday due to the blazing sun. Though Ramazan has started and on such days people mostly shop more in connection with the holy month.
 
Various shopkeepers at Satellite Town, Bhan Singh Abad also closed down their shops for three to four hours in the noon to keep themselves safe from scorching heat. The Met Office has forecast hot and dry weather for the city and its suburbs for the next 24 hours. On Sunday, maximum and minimum temperatures were recorded as 43.3 degree Celsius and 38.2 degree Celsius, respectively.
Courtesy of dailytimes.com.pk