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What are the “atmospheric rivers” that are causing catastrophic rains in California

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  • BBC News World

In an aerial view, the Los Angeles River flows at speed as a major storm hits the West Coast on January 5, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

image source, Getty Images

Caption,

Heavy rains in California caused rivers to overflow and flood.

A bomb cyclone is battering coastal areas of Northern California, which has been under a state of emergency since Wednesday.

Much of the state has been hit by this phenomenon baptized by some media as pineapple express (in Spanish, “pineapple express”), which left at least 4 fatalities and nearly 200,000 people without electricity.

This strong storm originates in Hawaii (where the pineapple is a fruit in abundance, hence its nickname) and makes its way to the Pacific coast of the United States.

“We want people to stay at home”asked London Breed, mayor of San Francisco, one of the most affected cities along with Sacramento.

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