TOPICS > Nation

News Wrap: Harvey death toll rises to 60

September 4, 2017 at 6:45 PM EDT
In our news wrap Monday, Texas officials have raised the death toll from Hurricane Harvey to 60 in flood-stricken Houston, as 4,700 more homes had to be evacuated after torrents were released from a swollen reservoir. Also, Hurricane Irma grew into a category 4 storm and is expected to move toward Puerto Rico and possibly South Florida by the weekend.

JOHN YANG: In the day’s other news: Texas officials have raised the death toll from Hurricane Harvey to 60, as the recovery moves slowly forward, even as parts of Houston remain underwater.

Torrents gushed from a swollen reservoir in a controlled release that forced 4,700 more homes to be evacuated. The top elected official in Harris County, which includes Houston, said the hard work is just beginning.

JUDGE ED EMMETT, Harris County, Texas: Storm’s been dealt with, but if two weeks from now, people still have debris, and they don’t have a sense that it’s going to be picked up, if they don’t have a sense that they’re going to have housing, if they don’t have sense that all levels of government are working together to bring them relief, then all these warm fuzzy feelings we have today are going to be gone.

JOHN YANG: Elsewhere, officials lifted an evacuation order around a wrecked chemical plant outside Houston. And leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives set a vote for Wednesday on a disaster aid bill totaling $7.9 billion.

Meanwhile, Irma grew, Hurricane Irma drew into a dangerous Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 miles an hour and still growing. Satellite images today showed the storm’s advance. The governors of Florida and Puerto Rico declared emergencies. The storm is expected to close to the Leeward Islands tomorrow night, before moving toward Puerto Rico and possibly South Florida by the weekend.

Rain and cooler temperatures are helping firefighters in Los Angeles battle the largest blaze in city history. The fire has been burning since Friday and has swept through nearly 6,000 acres. But L.A.’s fire chief says damage to homes has been minimal.

RALPH TERRAZAS, Chief, Los Angeles Fire Department: Our people are tired. I talked to them at length yesterday and last night. They had a good rest period, a large percentage of them, last night, and that’s a good sign. As long as the weather continues to cooperate, I’m very confident and convinced we will be fine.

JOHN YANG: To the north, crews are struggling with fires and high heat. At Yosemite National Park today, high winds pushed a fire into a grove of giant sequoia trees that are 2,700 years old. Officials aren’t sure of the extent of the damage.

Lawmakers and activists are bracing for President Trump to stop shielding 800,000 young immigrants from deportation. The Obama era effort covers people who were brought into the United States illegally as children. It’s widely reported Mr. Trump will announce tomorrow that he’s ending the program in six months. That’s to give Congress time to address the issue.

We will have more later in our Politics Monday segment.

The violence against the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar drew growing condemnation across the Muslim world today. In Russian, Chechnya, tens of thousands of protesters rallied in the capital of Grozny. They demanded an end to the violence.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, hundreds of Muslim women protested in front of Myanmar’s embassy. The Indonesian president urged Myanmar’s leader to act.

PRESIDENT JOKO WIDODO, Indonesia (through interpreter): We deplore the violence that occurred in Myanmar. Real action is needed, not just statements and condemnations. The government of Indonesia is committed to continuing to help address the humanitarian crisis, in cooperation with civil society in Indonesia and the international community.

JOHN YANG: Almost 90,000 Rohingya have crossed into Bangladesh in just 10 days, fleeing a military crackdown. The government of the largely Buddhist nation says Rohingya insurgents provoked the trouble.

And the electoral commission in Kenya has set October 17 to rerun the presidential election. President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner over opposition leader Raila Odinga in the August 8 vote. Last week, the country’s Supreme Court nullified the results, citing irregularities.