Stu­dents march over vi­o­lence

Yorkshire Post - - UK & ABROAD -

HUR­RI­CANE FLORENCE has killed a mother and child in North Carolina.

The Wilm­ing­ton Po­lice Depart­ment said the two were killed when a tree fell on their house. The father was trans­ported to a hospi­tal for treat­ment.

North Carolina’s gov­er­nor’s of­fice said a third per­son was killed while plug­ging in a gen­er­a­tor.

The hur­ri­cane came ashore early on Fri­day, pound­ing the state with tor­ren­tial rain and high winds.

Fore­cast­ers have been pre­dict­ing cat­a­strophic flash flood­ing. The Na­tional Hur­ri­cane Cen­tre in Mi­ami says more than 16 inches of rain have fallen at lo­ca­tions in south­east North Carolina and an­other 20 to 25 inches is on the way.

The hur­ri­cane has torn build­ings apart and knocked out power to more than 600,000 homes and busi­nesses.

More than 60 peo­ple had to be pulled from a col­laps­ing mo­tel and hun­dreds more were res­cued else­where from ris­ing wa­ter.

“WE ARE COM­ING TO GET YOU,” the city of New Bern tweeted around 2am local time. “You may need to move up to the sec­ond story, or to your at­tic, but WE ARE COM­ING TO GET YOU.”

The gi­ant, 400-mile-wide hur­ri­cane un­loaded heavy rain, flat­tened trees, chewed up roads and knocked out power to more than 600,000 homes and busi­nesses.

Fore­cast­ers say the biggest danger is the wa­ter as the storm surge along the coast­line and the prospect of one to three-and-ahalf feet of rain over the com­ing days could trig­ger cat­a­strophic flood­ing in­land.

By early af­ter­noon, Florence’s winds had weak­ened to 75mph, just barely a hur­ri­cane and well be­low the storm’s ter­ri­fy­ing Cat­e­gory 4 peak of 140 mph ear­lier in the week.

But the hur­ri­cane had slowed to a crawl as it traced the North Carolina-South Carolina shore­line, drench­ing coastal com­mu­ni­ties for hours on end.

The town of Ori­en­tal had taken more than 18 inches of rain just a few hours into the del­uge, while Surf City had 14 inches and it was still com­ing down.

“Hur­ri­cane Florence is pow­er­ful, slow and re­lent­less,” North Carolina gov­er­nor Roy Cooper said. “It’s an un­in­vited brute who doesn’t want to leave.”

Mr Cooper said the hur­ri­cane was “wreak­ing havoc” on the coast and could wipe out en­tire com­mu­ni­ties as it makes its “vi­o­lent grind across our state for days”. He said parts of North Carolina had seen storm surges – the bulge of sea­wa­ter pushed ashore by the hur­ri­cane - as high as 10 feet.

Florence made land­fall as a Cat­e­gory 1 hur­ri­cane at 7.15am at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilm­ing­ton and not far from the South Carolina line, com­ing ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emp­tied-out stretch of coast­line.

It was ex­pected to be­gin push­ing its way west­ward across South Carolina later in the day, in a wa­tery siege that could go on all week­end.

For peo­ple liv­ing in­land in the Caroli­nas, the mo­ment of max­i­mum peril from flash flood­ing could ar­rive days later, be­cause it takes time for rain­wa­ter to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest.

Pre­par­ing for the worst, about 9,700 Na­tional Guard troops and civil­ians were de­ployed with high-wa­ter ve­hi­cles, he­li­copters and boats that could be used to pluck peo­ple from the flood­wa­ters. Au­thor­i­ties warned, too, of the threat of mud­slides and the risk of en­vi­ron­men­tal havoc from flood­wa­ters wash­ing over in­dus­trial waste sites and hog farms.

Thou­sands of stu­dents have marched through down­town Mex­ico City to protest vi­o­lence.

It fol­lows an at­tack on univer­sity stu­dents ear­lier this month and the 2014 kid­nap­ping and dis­ap­pear­ance of 43 stu­dents. No­body has been con­victed for those crimes.

Thurs­day’s march came on the 50th an­niver­sary of a 1968 stu­dent protest known as the “March of Silence”. Weeks later on Oc­to­ber 2 1968, troops killed as many as 300 pro­test­ers.

Top, a truck drives on High­way 24 as the wind from Hur­ri­cane Florence blows palm trees in Swans­boro North Carolina; above, from left, a res­i­dent walks through floods in New Bern, North Carolina; high winds and storm surge in Swans­boro, North Carolina.

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