A formidable one-two punch of natural disasters struck Southern California over the weekend, as Hurricane Hilary unleashed torrential rains and flash floods, while the region was still reeling from a 5.1 magnitude earthquake. The rare convergence of these calamities has left residents and officials grappling with an unprecedented crisis. Hurricane Hilary, initially classified as a tropical storm, first made landfall in Baja California, Mexico, with devastating force, claiming at least one life and causing extensive flash flooding in the region. Social media was flooded with alarming images of city streets turning into raging torrents, sweeping away roads and inundating neighborhoods. As Hurricane Hilary moved northward, it intensified its impact on Southern California, prompting Governor Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency for the affected areas. The governor’s declaration came as a rare event for a region more accustomed to battling droughts than facing tropical storms. Flash floods and evacuations: Flash flood warnings remained in effect until at least 3 a.m., with the forecast predicting a staggering 5 to 10 inches of rain in mountain and desert regions – an amount that typically takes an entire year to accumulate. The deluge wreaked havoc in areas not accustomed to such weather, causing serious flooding in the San Gabriel Mountains and coastal areas of Ventura County. In San Bernardino County, authorities ordered evacuations for numerous towns in the mountains and valleys. Social media platforms were inundated with visuals of torrents of water, mud, rocks, and trees surging through these areas. Wrightwood, a town northeast of Los Angeles, saw rain wash trees and mud down hills in Sheep Canyon. Oak Glen, another evacuated town, witnessed gushing floodwaters hurling debris into the air, as residents grappled with the unprecedented flooding. Earthquake rattles Southern California: Adding to the anxiety, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California approximately 4.35 miles southeast of Ojai in Ventura County. Thankfully, there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, but the earthquake left buildings rattling and was followed by several smaller aftershocks. This seismic activity came as a precursor to the impending hurricane impact, amplifying concerns for residents and emergency responders. Climate change and hurricane Hilary: Scientists are closely examining the role of climate change in the intensification of tropical storms like Hurricane Hilary. The increasing frequency of extreme weather events has raised questions about the influence of climate change on the pattern and ferocity of such storms. Meteorologists are continually monitoring Hurricane Hilary’s path and forecasting its future trajectory. The use of spaghetti models, which track various potential routes, will help officials and residents prepare for the evolving situation.