Tropical Storm Hilary batters California: Flash-floods and tornado warnings in place
Tropical Storm Hilary made landfall on Sunday (August 20) on Mexico's northwestern Pacific Coast, along with maximum sustained winds of 100 kilometres per hour, with California feeling the effects. It also brought heavy rains with it in the typically arid southwestern United States.
The officials have warned of potentially life-threatening flooding. There were reports of flash flooding in Los Angeles. Tornado warnings were also issued for some areas.
The National Weather Service said that a "dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding situation is developing from Point Mugu and Camarillo eastward through Thousand Oaks and Woodland Hills area and across the mountains of Los Angeles County".
As per the weather service, a flash flood warning was in place for downtown Los Angeles and Los Angeles County until 6:00 am ET Monday. A total of more than seven million people are affected.
Local reports listed the locations that could experience flash flooding. These include - Thousand Oaks, Malibu, Lake Los Angeles, Acton, Wrightwood, Burbank, Palmdale, Mount Wilson, Pasadena, North Hollywood, Griffith Park, Santa Clarita, Universal City, Van Nuys, Lancaster, Hollywood, Alhambra, Northridge, Downtown Los Angeles and Beverly Hills.
Los Angeles area and San Diego schools will be closed Monday. Beaches were also ordered closed and people rushed to stores to stock up on water and other essentials.
The US National Hurricane Center said that the centre of Hilary had hit the north of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula.
That was not it, amid catastrophic weather, nature struck in another scary way. A 5.1 magnitude earthquake hit near the southern California town of Ojai but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a news conference in Los Angeles on Sunday that US President Joe Biden has hailed the "extraordinary mutual aid system" at work in California.
In a statement posted later online, Biden said: "My Administration stands ready to provide additional assistance as requested. I urge people to take this storm seriously, and listen to state and local officials."
Tropical Storm Hilary has also become the first tropical storm in the state since Nora in 1997 and is only the fourth storm of tropical storm strength or stronger to move through the state.
Hilary earlier reached Category 4, which is the second-most powerful on the five-step Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. However, it was downgraded to a tropical storm as it headed towards the densely populated Mexican border city of Tijuana.
US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator Deanne Criswell urged people to take the dangers seriously despite the weakening.