Houston mayor modifies curfew time amid tropical storm

Xinhua
Houston's daily curfew has been pushed back to midnight, Mayor Sylvester Turner updated it in his tweet on Tuesday.
Xinhua
AFP

A police car is seen after the Mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, imposed a citywide curfew in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey August 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas.

Houston's daily curfew has been pushed back to midnight, Mayor Sylvester Turner updated it in his tweet on Tuesday.

"I'm modifying the curfew to start at midnight (and still end at 5 am) to allow volunteers and others to do their great work," the tweet said.

The mayor previously announced the curfew would start from 10:00 p.m. (0300 GMT) to 5:00 a.m. (1000 GMT).

Under the curfew, city residents are not allowed outside between midnight and 5:00 a.m. Police Chief Art Acevedo said this was partly to prevent looting and other crimes, whose punishments are increased or even doubled when the crimes happen in a disaster area.

Tropical Storm Harvey continues to ravage the outer ring of Houston on Tuesday after landing on Friday night. The flood has inundated Houston for days.

Tropical storm Harvey has broken the record for rainfall from a cyclonic storm in the US mainland, with nearly 52 inches (132 cm) of rain observed in the state of Texas, authorities said on Tuesday.

The National Weather Service (NHS) said 51.88 inches (132 cm) of rain have been dumped in Cedar Bayou, a salt water channel on the Texas coast, as massive rain and catastrophic flooding caused by the historic storm continue to batter the region.

The reading, a record for both Texas and the US mainland, is higher than the previous record of 48 inches (122 cm) observed when tropical cyclone Amelia hit Medina, mid-south Texas in 1978.

But it is slightly lower than the 52 inches set when tropical cyclone Hiki hit Kauai, Hawaii, in 1950, before the island became a state.

It was the second record reported within a day as a rain gauge of a weather station southeast of Houston measured 49.32 inches (125.3 cm) of rain in the afternoon.

Harvey made landfall in the coastal areas of Texas on Friday night as a Category 4 hurricane.

It has since downgraded to a tropical storm, but the massive amount of rain it unleashed has caused widespread flooding in low-lying Houston, the fourth most populous US city.

The NHS predicted less than an inch of rain in the city on Wednesday, with only a 30-percent chance of showers and thunderstorms the day after and mostly sunny skies on Friday.

US President Donald Trump paid a visit to disaster-ravaged Texas on Tuesday to survey damage. 

The American Red Cross said over 17,000 people have sought refuge in shelters in Texas and the number was expected to increase. So far, authorities and family members have reported at least a dozen deaths from Harvey.

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