The death toll from Cyclone Idai continued to rise in southern Africa on Wednesday, with more than 200 people confirmed dead in Mozambique and at least 100 more victims in neighboring Zimbabwe, The Associated Press reports. Floodwaters were forecast to continue to rise on Thursday, with more torrential rains expected.
"Floodwaters are predicted to rise significantly in the coming days and 350,000 people are at risk," the United Nations humanitarian office said. Aid groups have been struggling to rescue survivors, some awaiting help on rooftops. Entire villages have been destroyed. "There is death all over," said a survivor, Amos Makunduwa, who carried his remaining possessions in a bag. Harold Maass
A wildfire near Santa Clarita, California caused 1,000 people to evacuate their Los Angeles-area homes on Wednesday evening. The fire sparked around 1 p.m. on Wednesday and spread quickly due to strong winds, tearing through 350 acres in just a few hours, Newsweek reports. As many as 500 nearby homes were affected by the billowing smoke, and a small number of homes were at risk of catching fire.
More than 450 firefighters were on the scene, and they were able to make some progress in combating the wildfire as of Thursday morning. This wildfire is likely yet another consequence of California's drought, which has been contributing to some of the state's worst fire conditions in the last four years. Becca Stanek
In less than two days, a wildfire near Big Bear Lake, California, has spread to an estimated 11,000 acres as of Friday morning. The "Lake Fire" sparked on Wednesday afternoon, and has since been roaring through the San Bernardino National Forest. According to Time, this is the worst wildfire yet this year on California forestland. Dry and windy conditions on Thursday afternoon sparked the quick spread of the wildfire, which has so far ravaged an estimated 12 square miles of national forest.
At this point in time, the fire is 10 percent contained, and The Los Angeles Times reports that over 500 fire personnel, 32 engines, five air tankers, and seven helicopters continue to work to further contain it. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Becca Stanek