High Magnitude Earthquake Hits Southern Mexico, 38 Dead

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Fri, 09/08/2017 - 5:00pm to 5:30pm
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A high-magnitude earthquake hit the southern coast of Mexico on Thursday night killing at least 38 people. The epicenter of this 8.1 magnitude quake was roughly 74 miles off the coast of Mexico and was felt as far as Guatemala City and Mexico City, causing a 2 foot tsunami. President Enrique Pena Nieto said that the quake was felt by nearly 50 million people across the country, and was possibly the strongest quake that Mexico has experienced in nearly a century. Nearly 1.85 million homes lost electricity, but 74 percent of those homes has had service returned. People still lack water however, and it can take nearly 36 to 48 hours to get it back up. Rescue teams continue to rescue people still under the rubble of some structures. 

Irma has devasted much of the Caribbean, and southern Florida could suffer much of the same kind of destruction from the storm. The Houston area is just starting to recover from Harvey, and this recovery could last years. In the meantime, President Donald Trump's new budget could cut deep into the agencies that are protecting people from such disasters. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service are responsible for predicting weather events like Irma and Harvey using satellites and lots of other technology. The Sierra Club's Jeff Tittel said that Trump's budget shows much contempt for people dealing with natural disasters and climate impacts. Weather scientists worry that with Trump's proposed 17% cut to NOAA's budget, they won't be able to provide residents with trustworthy forecasts. It could directly hurt the NWS's ability to improve its forecasting system. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said that they are about to run out of money, and that Trump's budget would cut FEMA's funding by about $667 million. 

The Eagle Creek Fire has not pushed very far into the Bull Run watershed. A small hotspot was recently detected by a NASA satellite inside the drainage on Tuesday around 3:50 am, but it has only burned about 100 acres. The fire, officials say, is not encroaching quickly on the reservoir itself. There is no danger on the water being tainted. Even if it were, Portland's water source would be switched to a back-up supply quickly. 

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