Deadly floods swamp Iran


Flash floods in 20 of Iran’s 31 provinces have killed at least 24 people and injured hundreds more earlier this week, according to emergency services.

Days of “unprecedented” rain have caused rivers to overflow and engulf cities and villages across the country. Video footage on Twitter shows people clinging to lampposts as currents sweep through streets with massive debris.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei offered his condolences to the people of Iran and expanded government-led relief efforts, which will be supported by the United Nations.

The torrential rainfall was at times equivalent to half of the average annual levels within 24 hours, according to CBS News, which is highly unusual for the country that suffered decades of drought until 2018.

“Climate change is forcing itself on our country,” Energy Minister Reza Ardekanian told Tasnim news agency. “These unprecedented floods in our country are because of climate change worldwide.”

Coverage of the floods in Iran adds to the continuing narrative of increasing natural disasters around the world as a result of climate change. Although the story would receive more attention in the U.S. if a Western country was devastated, social media allows Americans to better visualize of the extent of the tragedy.

Winter cold deadly for Iowa student


Yahoo! News has included an article by HuffPost earlier in the day discussing the devastating death of a college student. Gerald Belz, an 18-year-old freshman at the University of Iowa was found Wednesday morning near his dorm. He was then taken to the hospital where he passed away. 

Jenna Amatulli, the reporter who covered this story, did a great job of balancing all the information that came with this story. She didn’t provide more information than necessary about Belz. 

Amatulli noted important facts about the weather saying how the polar vortex has done its fair share of damage to the country sending temperatures to an extreme low. The university had weather of minus 21 degrees, with the windchill as low as minus 51 degrees. 

Although this is a heartbreaking story, I appreciate news companies sharing this. Belz is not the only individual who has passed away in the past few days due to the extremely low temperatures. 

I see most news companies today overload stories on celebrities and Donald Trump. News that truly doesn’t concern us citizens as broadly as all the issues occurring in the country today. 

Even if you aren’t living in a cold area, maybe you have loved ones that do. 

Amatulli also did a neat job of including extra sources such as photos, a video, and a link to more information updates on the weather.

Overall, I found this article very interesting and helpful. I hope more news organizations focus on current events that need more attention brought to them and focus less on what our president is doing and what celebrities are going to do next. 

Polar cold becomes dangerous


CNN released a story Wednesday morning stating that the weather in the Midwest is at a historic, record-breaking low. The polar vortex descended, causing the coldest air in a generation, and is set to last through the end of the week.

Temperatures as low as negative 40 degrees are expected to hit the Midwest, specifically the Chicago-Minneapolis region. Officials have warned that temperatures at this range are known to cause, hypothermia, frost bite, frozen pipes and frozen vehicle parts. The wind chill readings will fall far below zero in many places.

Four deaths have been linked to these below freezing temperatures. A young couple got into a car accident on a snowy road in northern Indiana, a Milwaukee man was found frozen in his garage, and a man was struck and killed by a snow plow in Chicago. These terrible incidents are encouraging the Midwest to get the homeless off the streets to try and prevent them from interacting with this weather. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said on Tuesday, “These are actually a public health risk and you need to treat it appropriately, they are life-threatening conditions and temperatures.”

The weather is so drastically cold that airlines have issued weather waivers for 18 airports in the Midwest including Chicago O’Hare and Midway International airports. Besides the waivers, around 2,000 flights have been canceled since Wednesday morning. 3,000 flights combined, were cancelled on Monday and Tuesday. Amtrak as well canceled all trains coming in and out of Chicago, according to CNN as of 9:30 Wednesday morning.

Most public schools from Midwest states like Missouri, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, canceled classes on Tuesday and some on Wednesday as well. Several universities within those states have also canceled classes for those days, if not the whole week. Josh Collins, spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Education states “Closing schools for an extended stretch isn’t an easy decision, even though most school districts build potential makeup days into their schedules.”

The cold has been so bad that typical outdoor activities have been shutting down. A ski hill in the Minneapolis area said it would close through Wednesday, so did an ice castle attraction. The cold weather has even affected beer deliveries. Shipments are being delayed in fear that the beer will freeze.

This polar vortex has done nothing but cause tragedy and havoc to the Midwest. Hopefully, temperatures will go back to normal after this week ends.

Record temperatures blast Midwest


The United States — specifically the Midwest states like Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Indiana — are seeing brutally low temperatures as January comes to a close.

Wind chill temperatures close to negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit are shocking those in the Midwest, but it does not stop there. Wind chill has made the situation considerably worse, dropping the temperatures down to record-breaking levels of around negative 40 to 50 degrees.

Shockingly low temperatures are having major effects on the cities they are hitting. Various news outlets have reported that the temperatures are dropping to those that are colder than Antarctica. This is changing the way many major cities are operating.

CNN is one outlet that is specifically covering the damage and changes that many cities are going through. I admire the way that they are reporting on individual instances that the snow is causing in a list format, and then expanding on each in their own articles.

The blistering cold has impacted the Midwest with school cancellations, mass transit cancelling the entirety of its services and is even causing deaths. Not only have local schools been closed, various universities among the nation have halted classes until the weather is safer to operate in. Packages are also not being delivered and flights are being cancelled until the weather normalizes.