Hurricane Irma Moves Towards Florida, Massive Earthquake Strikes Mexico, Hackers Gain Access to Equifax, And More

Hurricane Irma Moves Towards Florida, Massive Earthquake Strikes Mexico, Hackers Gain Access to Equifax, And More
  • Hurricane Irma moved toward Florida this morning, leaving devastation in the Caribbean in its wake. Irma was downgraded to a Category 4 hurricane on Friday and killed at least 10 people when it struck Barbuda and St. Martin. The storm has also left thousands of people in Puerto Rico without power. "The Red Cross estimates that 1.2 million people have already been battered by the storm and warned that it poses a serious threat to millions more," CNN reports. Irma is now headed towards Miami, and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez expanded evacuation orders in an attempt to get residents to flee the area before the storm hits. "I've been here 60 years. I've never heard of this kind of evacuation," Gimenez told The Miami Herald. "Certainly during Hurricane Andrew there wasn't this kind of evacuation, and we know we had these storm surges up to 17 feet. But these models are new. And this information is new."

  • The strongest earthquake in a century hit Mexico off the Pacific Coast Thursday night, killing at least five people and leveling some parts of the country. Approximately 50 million people felt the 8.2 magnitude earthquake, including those in Mexico City. "The force sent residents of the megacity fleeing into the streets at midnight, shaken by the alarms blaring over loudspeakers and a full minute of tremors," according to The New York Times. "And while the capital seems to have been spared any vast damage to infrastructure in the government's preliminary assessment, the effects in the southern states of Chiapas and Oaxaca were probably more severe."

  • Hackers gained access to consumer credit reporting agency Equifax and may have compromised the sensitive information of 143 million American consumers. Equifax confirmed the hack in a statement released Thursday, and said hackers may have gained access to consumers' Social Security numbers and driver's license numbers. "This is about as bad as it gets," said Pamela Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, in an interview with the Times. "If you have a credit report, chances are you may be in this breach. The chances are much better than 50 percent."

  • Hurricane Harvey may be over, but it will take Houston years to rebuild and its recovery timeline—like all those after a disaster—will be unique. WIRED reached out to experts to find out what the city can expect as it recovers, and found that the most destructive feature of Harvey wasn't its winds but water. "One of the most pressing—and ongoing—orders of business will be assessing not just the immediate damage that rain wrought but the pernicious conditions it will leave behind: Where floodwaters recede in the days and weeks ahead, dampness will linger," the sources said. "Walls, floors, insulation, and internal structures of once-flooded buildings will give rise to breeding grounds for mold and mildew if they are not properly managed."

  • Malaysia will allow Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar to seek shelter in the country. "Rohingya insurgents attacked several police post and an army base in Myanmar on August 25," Reuters reports. "The ensuing clashes and a military counter-offensive have killed at least 400 people and triggered an exodus of more than 160,000 to neighboring Bangladesh."

  • U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced she plans to rescind Obama-era guidelines on campus sexual assault enforcement. "Instead of working with schools…the prior administration weaponized the Office for Civil Rights," DeVos said in a speech at George Mason University. "We must do better because the current approach isn't working." She plans to create a formal process to seek public input to replace the current system with one that respects the rights of victims, as well as students who are accused of sexual assault.

  • In other news, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration made progress in implementing requirements in the Aviation Security Act of 2016, artificial intelligence is fueling a new global arms race, a U.S. appeals court rejects the Trump administration's attempt to bar most refugees, and the U.S. official policy on North Korea is that it should give up all of its nuclear weapons—but what if that's not the best course of action?