Powerful storm hits Northern California forcing evacuation

Luke 21:25-26 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Important Takeaways:

  • As another powerful storm walloped California, a 5-year-old boy was swept away by floodwaters Monday on the state’s central coast and an entire seaside community… was ordered to evacuate
  • Tens of thousands of people remained without power, and some schools closed for the day. Streets and highways transformed into gushing rivers, trees toppled, mud slid and motorists growled as they hit roadblocks caused by fallen debris.
  • The death toll…climbed from 12 to 14 on Monday, after two people were killed by falling trees, state officials said.
  • In Los Angeles, a sinkhole swallowed two cars in the Chatsworth area
  • Up the coast, evacuation orders were issued in Santa Cruz County for about 32,000 residents living near rain-swollen rivers and creeks

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Late season hurricane Floridians take cover

Revelation 16:9 “They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Nicole, Rare November Hurricane, Pounds Florida Coast
  • The rare November hurricane had already led officials to shut down airports and theme parks and order evacuations that included former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club.
  • Nicole was a Category 1 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph
  • It was centered about 30 miles (25 kilometers) east-southeast of Fort Pierce and was moving toward the west-northwest near 14 mph (22 km/h).
  • Tropical storm force winds extended as far as 485 miles (780 kilometers) from the center in some directions.
  • The sprawling storm is then forecast to head into Georgia and the Carolinas later Thursday and Friday, dumping heavy rain across the region.
  • Winds were the biggest concern and significant power outages could occur, but that 16,000 linemen were on standby to restore power as well as 600 guardsmen and seven search and rescue teams.

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Florida’s East Coast prepares for Hurricane Nicole, issues Evacuation orders for coastal towns

Revelation 16:9 “They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Florida Prepares For Nicole: Evacuations Ordered, Airports Closing
  • Mandatory evacuations have been issued in parts of Florida, schools are closing, airports shutting down and residents are boarding up windows as Nicole tracks toward the state’s Atlantic coast.
  • Volusia and Palm Beach counties announced mandatory evacuations of certain residents and areas on Tuesday.
  • “Tropical Storm Nicole poses a direct threat to property and life,” Volusia County Manager George Recktenwald said in a news release. “Residents need to take this storm seriously.”
  • Many of those areas are still recovering from Hurricane Ian.

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Wildfires in New Mexico Biden declares disaster

Revelation 8:7 “The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Biden declares disaster in New Mexico wildfire zone as thousands affected by evacuations
  • President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration that brings new financial resources to remote stretches of New Mexico devastated by fire since early April.
  • The president’s disaster declaration releases emergency funds to recovery efforts in three counties in northeastern New Mexico where fires still rage, as well as portions of southern New Mexico where wind-driven blazes killed two people and destroyed over 200 homes in mid-April.

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Wildfire spreads to 6,000 acres in Arizona

Revelation 8:7 “The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Arizona wildfire spreads to more than 6,000 acres, prompting evacuations
  • A fast-moving wildfire in northern Arizona has grown to more than 6,000 acres, being fueled by significant winds and dry conditions.
  • Coconino County officials said that over 200 personnel were fighting the fire, but they have not been able to achieve any containment as of Tuesday evening.
  • The so-called Tunnel Fire was burning about 14 miles north of Flagstaff. County officials said nearly 800 households and over 1,000 animals were evacuated from the area that is home to more than 2,000 people

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3,000-acre Fire now burning in Tennessee

2 Timothy 3:1 “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Tennessee wildfire now 3K acres and is only 5% contained, evacuations remain in place
  • A mandatory evacuation was issued in Tennessee as a more than 3,000-acre fire rages near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • “It was surreal,” resident Robert Goodhue told Knox News. “I could see the smoke coming off of Walden’s Creek back there, and I was like, ‘That’s coming from where I live.’”
  • The fire had grown to about 1,000 acres Wednesday evening and jumped to about 3,700 acres by Thursday, according to Lt. Gov. Rand McNally and state Sen. Art Swan.
  • High winds and dry conditions reportedly sparked the brush fire, Knox News reported.
  • More than 70 fire departments have been deployed to area.

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Fire prompts evacuation order in Laguna Beach

Important Takeaways:

  • Emerald Fire: Laguna Beach blaze prompts evacuations, highway shutdown in California
  • Evacuation orders currently issued for residents in city south of Los Angeles
  • “The Laguna Beach Police Department has issued an IMMEDIATE EVACUATION ORDER for Irvine Cove and Emerald Bay and an EVACUATION WARNING has been issued for all of North Laguna (all residents North of Broadway) in Laguna Beach due to a nearby brush fire,” the city of Laguna Beach
  • The cause of the fire is not immediately clear.

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Big Sur Fire shuts down Highway 1 forces evacuation

Luke 21:25,26 “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Important Takeaways:

  • Wildfire Amid High Winds Prompts Evacuations, Shuts Down Highway 1 Near California’s Big Sur
  • Evacuations were ordered
  • The fire had burned about 2 square miles and was 5% contained
  • The blaze, dubbed the Colorado Fire, broke out despite heavy rainfall in recent months that has eased drought conditions.
  • Fire weather isn’t normally expected this time of year.
  • The fire jumped Highway 1 and the road was shut down in both directions from about 5 miles north of Big Sur to Rio Road in Carmel-By-The-Sea

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Factbox: Evacuations from Afghanistan by country

(Reuters) – The United States and allies are hurrying to evacuate as many people from Afghanistan as possible before an Aug. 31 deadline. The combined effort has evacuated more than 114,000 people since Aug. 14, the day before the Taliban entered Kabul, the White House has said.

Here are some more details of the evacuation effort by country:


The U.S. military will continue evacuating people from Kabul airport until Aug. 31 if needed, but will prioritize the removal of U.S. troops and military equipment on the last couple of days, the Pentagon has said. On Monday, two U.S. officials said most U.S. diplomats had left the country.

Washington has evacuated 5,400 U.S. citizens since Aug. 14, according to the U.S. government.

There were still about 350 U.S. citizens in Afghanistan trying to leave the country, a State Department spokesman said.


Britain’s last military flight left Kabul late on Saturday after evacuating more than 15,000 people in the two weeks since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, the defense ministry said.


Canadian forces in Kabul ended evacuation efforts for their citizens and Afghans on Thursday, acting chief of the defense staff General Wayne Eyre said.

He said Canada had evacuated or facilitated the evacuation of about 3,700 Canadian and Afghan citizens.


Germany ended evacuation flights on Thursday. The German military has evacuated 5,347 people, including more than 4,100 Afghans.

Germany previously said it had identified 10,000 people who needed to be evacuated, including Afghan local staff, journalists and human rights activists. About 300 German citizens remain in Afghanistan, a spokesman for the foreign office in Berlin said on Friday.


The French Defense Ministry said on Friday it had finished its evacuation effort from Afghanistan. During the operation, nearly 3,000 people, including more than 2,600 Afghans, had been brought to France.


Italy evacuated 5,011 people, including 4,890 Afghan nationals, among them 1,301 women and 1,453 children, a defense ministry statement said. The last evacuation flight left on Friday.


Sweden has ended its evacuation mission in Kabul, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on Friday. She said that a total of 1,100 people had been evacuated, including all locally employed embassy staff and their families.


Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Thursday Belgium had ended its evacuation operations. Just over 1,400 people were evacuated, with the last flight arriving in the Pakistan capital of Islamabad on Wednesday night, he said.


Ireland’s foreign ministry said that it had evacuated 36 Irish citizens after the completion of an emergency consular mission on Thursday.

It said it was now aware of approximately 60 Irish citizens and family members plus a further 15 Afghan citizens with Irish residency who are still in the country and have requested assistance, far more than they had initially estimated.


Poland has evacuated about 900 people from Afghanistan, including about 300 women and 300 children, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday.


Hungary has ended evacuations in Afghanistan after airlifting 540 people, including Hungarian citizens and Afghans and their families who worked for Hungarian forces previously, Defense Minister Tibor Benko said on Thursday.


Denmark made its last evacuation flight out of Kabul on Wednesday with the remaining diplomatic staff and military personnel, according to its defense ministry.

Denmark has airlifted about 1,000 people from Afghanistan since Aug. 14, including diplomatic staff, their families, former interpreters, Danish citizens as well as people from allied countries, the ministry said.


Ukraine has evacuated of all of its citizens who wanted to leave, the president’s chief of staff said on Saturday.

In all, it has flown out more than 600 people including foreign journalists, rights activists, women and children, Andriy Yermak said.


Austria says 109 people with Austrian citizenship, residency or work permits have been evacuated. The number of such people left is in the dozens, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg told a news conference on Monday, adding that none are citizens as far as he was aware and new people are still getting in touch with the Austrian authorities daily.


Switzerland has wound up its evacuations from Afghanistan after repatriating 387 people over two weeks with the help of the German military, the foreign ministry said on Friday. There were still 11 Swiss nationals there — some working for international organizations — with whom the ministry remained in contact, it added in a statement.


The Dutch government said on Thursday it had evacuated 2,500 people from Afghanistan since Aug. 15, with about 1,600 of them brought to the Netherlands. The Dutch ambassador left on the final flight on Thursday. The Dutch have no diplomatic presence left in the country.


Spain has concluded its evacuation of personnel from Afghanistan, the government said.

Two military planes carrying the last 81 Spaniards out of Kabul arrived in Dubai early on Friday, a government statement said. The planes were also carrying four Portuguese soldiers and 83 Afghans who had worked with NATO countries.

Over the course of its rescue mission Spain evacuated 1,898 Afghans who had worked with Western countries, the United Nations or the European Union.


Turkey has evacuated all troops and civilians from Afghanistan aside from a small “technical group” left behind, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.

Turkey has evacuated at least 1,400 people from Afghanistan, including about 1,000 Turkish citizens, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier this week.


Qatar said on Thursday it had helped evacuate more than 40,000 people to Doha and “evacuation efforts will continue in the coming days in consultation with international partners”.


The UAE said on Thursday it had helped evacuate 36,500 people to date, including 8,500 coming to the UAE via its national carriers or airports.


India has airlifted 565 people from Afghanistan, most of them embassy personnel and citizens living there but also dozens of Afghans including Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, a government official said.


Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday that Australia had evacuated 4,100 people, including over 3,200 citizens and Afghans with Australian visas, over nine days, with the last planned flight leaving before the airport attack. The other evacuees were from coalition partners.

Morrison acknowledged some Australian visa holders remained in Afghanistan though he did not know exact numbers.

Australia is committed to bringing at least 3,000 more people out over coming months as part of a humanitarian program, Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said.


New Zealand’s Defense Force ran three flights out of Kabul, and the last planned flight had left before the attack, a government statement said.

No NZDF personnel were in Kabul at the time of the explosions and no New Zealand evacuees were left within Kabul airport. According to preliminary numbers, at least 276 New Zealand nationals and permanent residents, their families and other visa holders were evacuated, it said.

(Compiled by Reuters staff; editing by Raissa Kasolowsky, Alex Richardson, Raju Gopalakrishnan, Ana Nicolaci da Costa, Nick Macfie, Frances Kerry and Andrew Heavens)

Biden again defends U.S. pullout as world powers struggle with Afghanistan evacuations

KABUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) -World powers struggled on Friday to hasten evacuations from Afghanistan after reports of Taliban reprisals, as U.S. President Joe Biden insisted that the chaos following the American troop withdrawal had not diminished Washington’s international credibility.

Facing a torrent of criticism at home and abroad for his handling of the withdrawal and the subsequent Taliban conquest of Afghanistan, Biden pledged that every American who wanted to would be evacuated, with about 13,000 flown out so far.

“I have seen no question of our credibility around the world from our allies,” Biden said in a speech from the White House.

“We are united with our closest partners to execute the mission at hand,” he said.

He said he could not promise what the final outcome would be in Afghanistan, where the United States has waged a 20-year war. But he promised to work with other countries to set “harsh conditions” for any cooperation or recognition of the Taliban, based on their human rights record.

“They’re looking to gain some legitimacy, they’re going to have to figure out how they’re going to retain that country,” he said. “And there’s going to be some harsh conditions, strong conditions we’re going to apply that will depend on … how well they treat women and girls, how they treat their citizens.”

Thousands of desperate Afghans clutching papers, children and some belongings thronged Kabul airport where gun-toting Taliban members urged those without travel documents to go home. In and around the airport, 12 people have been killed since Sunday, NATO and Taliban officials said.

Former government officials told harrowing tales of hiding from the group, as armed gunmen went from door to door. One family of 16 described running to the bathroom, lights off and children’s mouths covered, in fear for their lives with the militants at their door.

“Those who may be in danger have no clear way out,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Shabia Mantoo said, urging neighboring countries to keep borders open.

The speed with which the Islamist group conquered Afghanistan, as foreign troops were withdrawing, surprised even their own leaders and left power vacuums.

Biden reiterated his contention that the U.S.-funded and -armed Afghan military had been expected to put up more of a fight.

“The overwhelming consensus was that they (the Afghan government forces) were not going to collapse … they were not going to put down their arms and take off,” Biden said.

The Taliban called for unity, asking imams at Friday prayers to persuade people not to leave. Residents in Kabul and four other cities said attendance was low, though prayers passed off without incident.


A witness said several people were killed in the eastern city of Asadabad on Thursday when the Taliban fired on a protest. There were similar shows of defiance in two other eastern cities – Jalalabad and Khost – coinciding with celebrations of the nation’s 1919 independence from British control.

“The Taliban are facing the new reality of Afghanistan that Afghans are not the same Afghans of 20 years ago,” Barakat Rahmati, Afghanistan’s deputy ambassador to Qatar, told Reuters.

“Afghans, inclusive of men and women, held protests in Kabul despite a Taliban gun being pointed to them. They are holding protests against injustice. They are defending their identity and their flag.”

Washington has about 5,800 soldiers controlling the airport but acknowledged it does not have a grip on how many U.S. citizens were in Afghanistan.

In Britain, media said several senior officials were on holiday as the Afghan debacle erupted and that spy chiefs may face a grilling over intelligence failings. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab countered that the government had been working “tirelessly” on evacuations.

Germany said on Friday it was sending helicopters to help, amid reports that one of its citizens had been wounded.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said other countries should not impose their own values. Beijing, too, said the world should support, not pressure, Afghanistan.

The Taliban ruled with an iron fist from 1996-2001, enforcing a harsh version of Islamic law, before being toppled by U.S.-led forces for sheltering al Qaeda militants behind the Sept. 11 attacks.

This time they are seeking to present a more moderate face.

The group said it wants peace, will not take revenge against enemies and will respect women rights within Islamic law.

There are immediate fears for Afghan economy, with foreign grants and aid set to slow, funds and assets trapped abroad and GDP predicted to slump. Hundreds of bureaucrats are unpaid for two months, a Taliban official said.

As Western leaders insisted the Taliban would be judged on actions not words, a Norwegian intelligence group said fighters had begun rounding up Afghans on a list .

Amnesty International said the Taliban, whose members are Sunni Muslims, killed nine men of the mainly Shi’ite Hazara minority ethnic group after taking Ghazni province last month.

(Reporting by Kabul, Washington and Reuters bureaux worldwide; Writing by Philippa Fletcher, Andrew Cawthorne and Nick Macfie; Editing by Mark Heinrich, Jon Boyle and Grant McCool)