US: 1,000 people trapped in Death Valley amid floods

No injuries were reported, according to the National Park Service



Photo: AP
Photo: AP

By AFP

Published: Sat 6 Aug 2022, 9:37 AM

Major flooding in California's Death Valley on Friday stranded approximately 1,000 people, buried cars, and shut down all roads into, (and out of) the famously-parched national park.

No injuries were reported, according to the National Park Service, but around 60 cars were bogged down under several feet of debris.

"Unprecedented amounts of rainfall caused substantial flooding," the National Park Service said in a statement, adding that "there are approximately 500 visitors and 500 staff [members] currently unable to exit the park," which is in Eastern California's Mojave Desert.

The floodwaters tore up sections of paved roads and pushed dumpster containers into parked cars, causing the vehicles to collide. The rain also flooded offices and hotels, the park service said.

They added that all roads serving the park would remain off-limits, until officials determine the extent of the damage.

A total of 3.7cm of rain fell in the park's Furnace Creek area, almost breaking the previous daily record of 3.74cm. The average annual rainfall is less than two inches a year.

Higher temperatures caused by climate change mean the atmosphere holds more moisture, thereby unleashing more rain.

According to UN climate experts, even if the world manages to limit warming to 1.5°C, some regions will experience an increase in frequency, intensity and quantity of heavy rainfall.

The risk of heavy precipitation episodes increases with a rise in temperature.

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