New Mexico: After wildfires, flash floods pose new risk; thousands evacuated - Hindustan Times
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New Mexico: After wildfires, flash floods pose new risk; thousands evacuated

ByBhavika Rathore
Jun 22, 2024 03:14 PM IST

Wildfires were slowed down by the rainy weather in New Mexico, but the area is now suffering from floods.

The wildfires in New Mexico recently calmed down with on bringing of the rainy weather in affected areas. The blaze destroyed a 23,000-acre stretch of the land. After four days of intense spread of the South Fork Fire and the Salt Fire in New Mexico, the rainy weather turned out to be a blessing initially as it helped prevent the blaze from spreading further. However, the affected areas are now being warned about the flash floods.

Mexico wildfires followed by flash floods; thousands evacuated and two killed.
Mexico wildfires followed by flash floods; thousands evacuated and two killed.

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Flash flood risk after wildfires

According to USA Today, The Weather Forecast service issued a flash flood emergency in the area of Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs. The risks of flash floods have arisen due to the intense rainfall after the wildfires. The blaze washed vegetation and mud from the slopes, which would have held the rainwater otherwise.

The rainfalls snapped the fires out but have exposed the residents of Ruidoso to other hazards. The ongoing rescue operations urged the residents to move to higher grounds to avoid the risks of floods. The risks are there with the heavy rainfall, but it cannot be overlooked that the rain helped the officials contain the fire.

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Evacuation operations rescue thousands of residents

After the fires spread on Monday morning in the Village of Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs, the officials initiated rescue operations in the affected area with the aid of more than 1,000 personnel. According to USA Today, officials informed that 14,000 structures were destroyed by the wildfires. So far, two deaths have been reported by the wildfires in the affected region.

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US President Joe Biden also approved federal funding for recovery on Thursday after acknowledging and declaring the disaster. This funding will aid the affected residents in rebuilding their homes, making them eligible to apply for loans to cover property loss and other requirements.

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