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Significant Digits for Wednesday, July 24, 2019

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. Oliver Roeder is out, so the politics intern, Erin Doherty, is back with the digits.


35 people detained

Last week, a series of government-ordered raids in over a dozen cities targeted more than 2,100 migrants who entered the U.S. illegally. But the operation led to just 35 arrests, according to government numbers provided to The New York Times. The acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Matthew Albence, suggested that the low number of people detained was due in part to advance publicization of the raids, which “certainly makes it harder for us to effectuate these orders issued.” [The New York Times]


2,600 acres

A wildfire north of Flagstaff, Arizona, is considered the top-priority fire in the country because of its proximity to the city’s homes and buildings. As of Tuesday afternoon, fire officials estimated the blaze at 2,600 acres. Gov. Doug Ducey signed an emergency declaration and praised the crews fighting the fire. “They are working day and night, they are putting themselves in harm’s way to battle what is proving to be a challenging blaze so far,” he said. [Arizona Daily Sun]


Nearly 300 elephants

The tusks from nearly 300 African elephants, about 8,800 kilograms of ivory, were found in Singapore on Sunday in shipping containers from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The cargo also contained 11,900 kilograms of pangolin scales, coming from an estimated 2,000 of the anteaters. Authorities discovered the ivory and pangolin scales, worth $48 million total, in a search of containers declared as timber, on a tip from China’s customs department. The seized goods will be destroyed. [BBC News]


$140 million

An Australian man crashed his van into a police car parked outside a Sydney police station on Tuesday. When police found the man an hour later, they also found 600 pounds of methamphetamine in his van. The drugs are estimated to have a street value of approximately $140 million. The man now faces charges of negligent driving and large commercial drug supply. Well, that was easy. [CNN]


666 deaths

At least 666 people have died across India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan from extreme weather caused by monsoon rains. More “extremely heavy falls” of rain are possible throughout the week, according to the India Meteorological Department. With more heavy rain comes the potential for more flooding so severe that it “may take around one week for the waters to recede in all the affected districts,” according to Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, the executive engineer of the Bangladesh Water Development Board. [Al Jazeera]


1,000 gallons

That’s how much syrup spilled Monday night on a four-lane street along New Orleans’s French Quarter. The spill, which came from a broken rubber shipping bladder, shut down an entire block of the street. On Tuesday, one lane was still closed to make sure the syrup was removed in its entirety from streetcar tracks. Sounds sticky. [The Associated Press]


From ABC News:


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Erin Doherty is FiveThirtyEight’s politics intern.

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