Rare floods trap 1,000 people in US Death Valley

Intense and rare rainfall in California's famous Death Valley caused major flooding

Intense and rare rainfall in California’s famous Death Valley caused major flooding.

Major flooding in California’s Death Valley on Friday stranded about 1,000 people, swamped cars and closed all roads to and from the famously parched national park.

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

“Unprecedented rainfall has caused significant flooding,” the National Park Service said in a statement, adding that “there are approximately 500 visitors and 500 staff currently unable to exit the park,” which is located in the Mojave Desert in eastern California.

The rushing waters tore up sections of paved roads and pushed trash cans into parked cars, causing the vehicles to collide. The rain also flooded offices and hotels, the park said.

The park service added that all roads serving the park will remain closed until officials can determine the extent of the damage.

A total of 1.46 inches (3.7 centimeters) of rain fell in the Furnace Creek Park area, nearly equaling the previous daily record of 1.47 inches. Average annual rainfall is less than two inches per year.

The higher temperatures caused by climate change means the atmosphere holds more moisture, unleashing more rain.

According to UN climate experts, even if the world manages to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, some regions will see an increase in the frequency, intensity and amount of heavy rainfall.

The risk of heavy rainfall episodes increases with increasing temperature.


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© 2022 AFP

Quote: Rare floods trap 1,000 people in US Death Valley (2022, August 6) Retrieved August 6, 2022, from https://phys.org/news/2022-08-rare-people-death-valley. html

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