MODESTO – Unhealthy air warnings were issued for the region Thursday as smoke from area wildfires blanketed the valley.
As of 2:00pm, the air quality was considered very unhealthy with fine particulate matter polluting the area. The particulate matter (pm2.5) refers to tiny particles or droplets in the air that measure two and a half microns or less in width. The particles are so small that they measure about thirty times smaller than a human hair.
The particulate matter is able to travel deeply into a respiratory tract, potentially reaching the lungs. Exposure could cause short term health effects like irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. Coughing, sneezing, running nose and shortness of breath are all symptoms of exposure. Exposure can also worsen issues like asthma and heart disease.
Officials recommend avoiding outdoor activity, especially those with heart and lung disease, older adults, children and teens. Physical activities like exercise should be considered to move indoors or rescheduling for another time.
Earthquake Felt in Valley and the Region
MODESTO – An earthquake was felt Thursday afternoon in many valley cities and across the region.
According to the USGS, the earthquake happened at about 3:50pm and initially was estimated to be a 4.8 in magnitude. The epicenter was about 7 miles from the community of Farmington, east of Stockton.
UPDATE – USGS reclassified the epicenter to be closer to the Smith Valley area.
Officials with the National Weather Service reported feeling the quake in their building and reported slight shaking and movement.
People from as far as Merced, Sacramento, and the Bay Area reported feeling the tremor.
So far no damage or injuries were reported.
How Hot Did It Get Today?
The National Weather Service has been alerting the San Joaquin Valley Region about certain heat risks for the next few days, advising people to drink water, wear life jackets, and other precautions preventing heat related emergencies.
Stockton and Modesto were included in the “high risk” category from midday Wednesday through Sunday evening, meaning heat like this is rare.
Today Modesto tied its heat record from 2012 at 103 degrees.
Stockton broke its heat record from 2017 from 105 degrees by one degree to 106 degrees.
As the heat continues, the National Weather Service advises to drink water all day and not wait until you are thirsty.
Correction (6/18): The National Weather Service added corrections to these temperatures and stated Stockton tied its record of 105 degrees from 2017.
Strong Winds Anticipated For The Region
MODESTO – Strong winds are anticipated to come to the region and officials ask the public to stay alert and prepared for the wind.
The US National Weather Service Sacramento said the valley will see winds starting January 18th until the 19th. Winds were anticipated to begin Monday morning and continue until Tuesday evening.
North winds of up to 20 to 35 miles per hour are anticipated according to the NWSS. Gusts of up to 40 to 50 miles per hours are also anticipated.
The NWSS also said the winds can cause loose objects to blow around and possible power outages from downed power lines and trees.
They encourage people to have a plan with necessary supplies, using power generators outside and away from windows, disconnecting electronics and appliances, to keep refigerators and freezers closed, not use a gas stove to warm up the house and checking on neighbors.
NWSS asked people to identify a room inside their home and work where they can take shelter if needed. They say high winds can cause dangerous falling or blowing objets such as tree branches or outdoor items.
The Pacific Gas & Electric company urged customers to prepare by having non-perishable foods and water. Also having equipment such as flashlights with extra batteries ready, weather radios and mobile devices with portable chargers. Personal supplies are also recommended to prepare such as important documents and medications.
PG&E says to never touch downed power lines and to assume all downed lines are energized. Anyone who notices downed power lines is asked to stay away and call 911. PG&E customers are asked to also call 1-800-743-5002.
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