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A 4.5 magnitude earthquake struck the greater Los Angeles area Friday night, per the the U.S. Geological Survey.
The state of play: The quake came as California is already grappling with wildfires suffocating the West Coast. CNN reports that tremors were felt in San Diego, Valencia and the San Fernando Valley area. The Los Angeles Fire Department is warning people to ready themselves for potential aftershocks.
"Catastrophic" flooding from Tropical Depression Sally spilled inland across eastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia on Wednesday, bringing peak winds down to 45 mph winds, per the National Hurricane Center.
Why it matters: The mayor of Orange Beach, Ala., said one person died in the storm and hundreds of others have been rescued, per AP. Sally made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane near Gulf Shores, before later being downgraded to a tropical storm and later a depression. But the NHC warned late Wednesday it's "still causing torrential rains over eastern Alabama and western Georgia."
79 large wildfires are burning across the U.S. West, mostly in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho, per a Bureau of Land Management statement Wednesday.
The big picture: The mega-fires have killed at least 35 people and burned some 5 million acres in Oregon, Washington and California, where air quality is among the worst in the world. Smoke from the blazes has been affecting East Coast skies this week. It's also been spotted some 5,000 miles away in Europe.
The wildfires raging in the West are obviously horrendous on their own, but they're also raising the risk of further coronavirus spread, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Between the lines: It's harder for people to take appropriate coronavirus precautions when they're being forced from their homes, or when the air quality is as bad as it is.
Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm on Wednesday morning, packing maximum sustained winds were 105 mph.
What's happening: "Historic and catastrophic flooding is unfolding along and just inland of the coast, from Tallahassee, Florida, to Mobile Bay, Alabama," the National Hurricane Center said, as the storm's eyewall was moving across the coast.
Portland, Oregon, recorded the poorest air quality in the world Tuesday, per IQ Air, as the West Coast wildfires burn across some 5 million acres.
Why it matters: The mega-fires have charred 3,154,107 acres in California, over 1 million in Oregon and more than 807,000 in Washington amid hazardous air conditions. Seattle has the world's third-worst air quality and Los Angeles the seventh, according to IQ Air. The blazes have killed at least 35 people and displaced tens of thousands. Thousands of structures have been destroyed.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the fires and air quality.
The devastating West Coast wildfires have, at least for now, put a hot glare on the role of climate change in the 2020 presidential election.
Catch up fast: Joe Biden called President Trump a "climate arsonist" Monday in a speech that argued his dismissal of consensus climate science is a threat to people nationwide.
Joe Biden on Monday called President Trump a "climate arsonist" and warned that another four years of Trump's policies would expose suburbs to more deadly wildfires.
Why it matters: Biden's speech addressing the record-setting wildfires in the West sought to cast Trump — who rejects consensus climate science — as a threat to the safety and livelihoods of people nationwide, rather than just an environmental issue.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) told CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday that the massive fires devastating the West Coast are a result of "decades of mismanagement of our forests in this country" as well as "the failure to tackle climate change."
Why it matters: President Trump has also insisted that the fires were "about forest management," but he's dismissed climate change. There's been a chorus of voices in the West Coast calling Trump out for his climate change policies or lack of.
"California is being pushed to extremes," the L.A. Times reports in today's lead story. "And the record heat, fires and pollution all have one thing in common: They were made worse by climate change."
Why it matters: "Their convergence is perhaps the strongest signal yet that the calamity climate scientists have warned of for years isn’t far off in the future; it is here today and can no longer be ignored."