Dozens unaccounted for after SW Virginia floods – National & International News – THU 14Jul2022

An aerial view over a flood hit area of Virginia. One house house has been pushed into the middle of the street.

 

 

SW VA floods leave dozens unaccounted for. Uvalde residents angry over leaked video of school shooting. Sri Lanka: Confusion and chaos reign after reviled president flees without resigning.

 

 

NATIONAL NEWS

SW VA floods leave dozens unaccounted for

Yesterday morning, devastating floods struck Buchanan County, VA, leaving at least 44 people still unaccounted for. So far no deaths have been confirmed. In the community of Pilgrim’s Knob, the flooding was powerful enough to sweep several homes off their foundations. The entire area suffered power outages and other extensive infrastructure damage. In some areas, homes were left with flood marks 11 feet 6 inches off the ground. 

Buchanan is a rural county in southwest Virginia situated in the Appalachian Plateau portion of the Appalachian Mountains. The county is home to about 21,000 people and its county seat Grundy is home to just over 1000.

The “unaccounted for” people have been reported by family members as unreachable. However, cellular and landline telephone service is out in much of the flood-hit area. Rescue and search efforts are ongoing with help from neighboring police and fire departments.

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Uvalde residents express anger over leaked video of school shooting

Citizens of Uvalde, TX, find themselves facing yet another upsetting development and revelation in the aftermath of the May school shooting that left 21 people dead. After fighting for weeks to force the local powers-that-be to release security and body cam footage from the shooting, officials had finally agreed to allow the families to view surveillance footage from the school. A Texas senate panel was to allow family members to view the footage on Sunday. But, before that could happen, the footage was leaked to an Austin newspaper.

Many of the families are upset that the footage found its way into the public sphere after being promised they’d be allowed to see it first. Others are just glad the footage is finally out there after weeks of stonewalling from local officials. The video shows the shooter entering the school and more than a dozen police officers waiting in the hallway for 77 minutes to confront the gunman. The video redacts screams from children, but gunfire is clearly audible throughout.

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin called the police conduct “one of the most chicken things I’ve seen”.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Sri Lanka: Confusion and chaos reign after reviled president flees without resigning

Days after tens of thousands of Sri Lankan protesters stormed and occupied the presidential palace, the president they hope to oust has arrived in Singapore after first fleeing to the Maldives. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had pledged to formally resign his position on Wednesday following mass protests of his rule throughout the country. However, Rajapaksa so far has not resigned, and the interim president he left in his place may not be able to get a handle on things.

Sri Lanka has experienced a steep economic decline in the past two years since Rajapaksa took power. The country is essentially bankrupt, unable to meet its staggering $51 billion international debt obligations. In recent weeks, the country has not been able even to import food or fuel. Many families are skipping meals and are unable to obtain enough food at any price. Inflation in the country has topped 54%.

Most blame Rajapaksa’s mismanagement of the country’s finances for the current crisis. Rajapaksa gave the wealthy a huge tax cut and then abruptly banned chemical fertilizers and pesticides. As a result, the country’s crop yields dropped by more than half. Tea is one of the country’s main exports, and this has left Sri Lanka with a major import/export deficit.

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