Natural disasters

A water taxis drives by as smoke haze hangs over the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019. The annual Australian fire season, which peaks during the Southern Hemisphere summer, has started early after an unusually warm and dry winter. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
November 20, 2019 - 9:22 pm
PERTH, Australia (AP) — Hazardous smoke blanketed Sydney on Thursday as wildfires burned across eastern and southern Australia. Thick smog shrouded Australia’s most populous city, leaving its iconic skyline barely visible two days after smoke created serious air quality issues. The New South Wales...
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A shopper looks at extension cords at B&C Ace hardware store, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, in Grass Valley, Calif., in preparation of the planned Pacific Gas & Electric power shutdown scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. (Elias Funez/The Union via AP)
November 20, 2019 - 8:47 pm
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric turned off electricity Wednesday for about 120,000 people in Northern California to prevent power lines from sparking wildfires during a new bout of windy, warm weather. However, favorable weather allowed the nation’s largest utility to drastically...
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Pacific Gas & Electric CEO Bill Johnson waits to appear before a state Senate oversight hearing of the Energy, Utilities and Communications committee, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Nov. 18, 2019. Johnson is scheduled to testify before lawmakers about the utilities' decision to turnoff power for millions of people to prevent California wildfires. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
November 19, 2019 - 9:56 pm
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The head of Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. told angry California lawmakers Monday that the nation’s largest electric utility wasn’t fully prepared for the effects of its unprecedented outages last month even as it plans to shut off power to about 375,000 people this week...
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FILE - In this Oct. 31, 2019, file photo, a customer walks past the off-limits frozen foods section of Big John's Market in Healdsburg, Calif., shortly after it reopened and power was restored after being turned off for four days in an attempt to stem fires caused by wind-damaged power lines. Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. CEO Bill Johnson is scheduled to testify during a Legislative oversight hearing on Monday, Nov. 18, at the state Capitol. Lawmakers have repeatedly criticized the bankrupt company for leaving millions of people in the dark for days at a time during dry, windy weather events in October. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
November 18, 2019 - 5:24 pm
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on state legislative hearing into power outages by Pacific Gas & Electric (all times local): 3:20 p.m. The head of Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. has told a California legislative committee that the utility became complacent about power shutdowns after...
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FILE- In this July 19, 2011 file photo, Indian army soldiers undergo a training session at the Siachen base camp, in Indian Kashmir on the border with Pakistan. The Indian army says an avalanche has hit one of its posts on a Himalayan glacier in disputed Kashmir region and that at least eight soldiers are trapped under snow. Army spokesman Lt. Col. Devender Anand says the avalanche struck on Monday in the northern part of the Siachen Glacier and that a search and rescue operation is underway. (AP Photo/Channi Anand, File)
November 18, 2019 - 10:44 am
SRINAGAR, India (AP) — An avalanche hit an Indian army post Monday on a Himalayan glacier in the disputed Kashmir region, trapping at least eight soldiers under snow, the army said. The avalanche struck the post at a height of 5,485 meters (17,995 feet) in the northern part of the Siachen Glacier...
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FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2017 photo, boats are shown moored in the Anclote River near the old Stauffer chemical plant site in Tarpon Springs, Fla. Hundreds of the nation's most polluted places are at an increasing risk of spreading contamination beyond their borders by more frequent storms and rising seas. Sixty percent of U.S. Superfund sites are in danger from weather extremes like hurricanes or wildfires, and the Trump administration’s reluctance to acknowledge and plan for climate change is hurting chances of safeguarding them, according to a government watchdog. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
November 18, 2019 - 8:36 am
WASHINGTON (AP) — At least 60% of U.S. Superfund sites are in areas vulnerable to flooding or other worsening disasters of climate change, and the Trump administration’s reluctance to directly acknowledge global warming is deterring efforts to safeguard them, a congressional watchdog agency says...
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A man sits on a small boat in a flooded St.Mark square in Venice, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. Venetians are bracing for the prospect of another exceptional tide in a season that is setting new records. Officials are forecasting a 1.6 meter (5 feet, 2 inches) surge of water Sunday through the lagoon city. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
November 17, 2019 - 11:50 am
VENICE, Italy (AP) — Venice was hit Sunday by a record third exceptional tide in the same week while other parts of Italy struggled with a series of weather woes, from rain-swollen rivers to high winds to an out-of-season avalanche. Stores and museums in Venice were mostly closed in the hardest-hit...
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November 17, 2019 - 11:14 am
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Tropical Storm Raymond has fizzled into a remnant low-pressure system over the Pacific off western Mexico and is forecast to likely avoid a direct hit on the resorts of Los Cabos. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm could still dump 3 to 5 inches of rain on southern...
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Music books are placed to dry at the first floor of Venice Conservatory after being recovered from ground floor, Italy, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. High tidal waters returned to Venice on Saturday, four days after the city experienced its worst flooding in 50 years. Young Venetians are responding to the worst flood in their lifetimes by volunteering to help salvage manuscripts, clear out waterlogged books and lend a hand where needed throughout the stricken city.(AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
November 16, 2019 - 11:48 am
VENICE, Italy (AP) — As soon as waters receded from this week’s devastating flood, about 50 young Venetians wearing rubber boots and gripped by a sense of determination showed up at the city’s Music Conservatory to help save precious manuscripts. Thanks to their work, some 50 linear meters of...
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FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2019, file photo, a helicopter drops water near power lines and electrical towers while working at a fire on San Bruno Mountain near Brisbane, Calif. California’s Pacific Gas & Electric is faced regularly with a no-win choice between risking the start of a deadly wildfire or immiserating millions of paying customers by shutting off the power. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
November 14, 2019 - 8:28 am
The utility that serves more than 5 million electrical customers in one of the world’s most technologically advanced areas is now faced again and again with a no-win decision: risk starting catastrophic deadly wildfires, or turn off the lights and immiserate millions of paying customers. Pacific...
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