Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: 23 Injured in Massive Explosion in Florida
EDM Monday Briefing: 23 Injured in Massive Explosion in Florida

EDM Monday Briefing: 23 Injured in Massive Explosion in Florida

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for July 8, 2019: A Georgia sheriff's deputy was shot and killed in the line of duty Sunday night; a tsunami warning was issued for North Sulawesi following a strong quake in the Molucca Sea; a massive evacuation was ordered in Germany after an 1,100 pound WWII bomb was found; another strong earthquake struck Southern California and officials warn that aftershocks could occur for weeks or months; the National Hurricane Center says a tropical storm could form in the Gulf by the end of the week; a 7.1 magnitude earthquake near Ridgecrest caused widespread and significant infrastructure damage; investigators continue to probe into the massive explosion at a vacant pizza restaurant in Florida that injured at least 23 on Saturday; and two wildfires sparked by lightning scorch at least 17,000 acres in East Idaho.

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1) A sheriff's deputy was shot and killed, and an alleged gunman was wounded in Hall County, Georgia, on Sunday night. A manhunt is now underway for the gunman's accomplices whom officials warn are armed and dangerous. The incident occurred when the unidentified deputy attempted to stop a stolen vehicle around 11:00 p.m. and was fatally shot in an exchange of gunfire.

2) A strong earthquake struck the Molucca Sea on Sunday, prompting Indonesian officials to issue a tsunami warning. The magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck at a depth of 15 miles and was centered about 114 miles southeast of Manado, North Sulawesi's provincial capital. Indonesia's geophysics agency predicted waves of about 1.6 feet for parts of North Sulawesi and North Maluku.

3) Thousands of people were evacuated in the Ostend area east of Frankfurt on Sunday ahead of the defusing of a World War II bomb by emergency workers. The 1,100 U.S. bomb was discovered about a month ago during construction work in the area, and the decision to defuse the bomb on Sunday was meant to minimize disruptions in the city's financial district. A total of about 16,500 people were evacuated, and the defusing began about two hours after police verified the area was clear of people.

4) Southern California was struck by another strong earthquake late Friday night, which prompted seismologists to warn that large aftershocks -- 5.0 or larger -- could occur for weeks or months. The quake, a 7.1 magnitude, was centered just 11 miles from Ridgecrest at a depth of about 4.9 miles. The temblor was the second large quake to strike the Ridgecrest area -- a 6.4 magnitude quake occurred just one day earlier.

5) A tropical threat may be brewing in the southeast, as meteorologists note that a disturbance over Georgia is forecast to move southward over the Gulf of Mexico in the next several days. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) stated that the movement will likely prompt a "broad area of low pressure" to form. The system could develop into a tropical storm by the end of the week, becoming the second named storm of the 2019 season.

6) Officials in Ridgecrest noted that the two recent earthquakes caused significant damage to infrastructure, including knocking out power, rupturing water and gas lines, cracking roadways, and causing fires. Although there were no reported deaths following the 7.1 magnitude earthquake, rockslides briefly blocked travel between Ridgecrest and Trona, home to about 2,000 residents. Due to water infrastructure damage, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) delivered bottled water to residents in Trona, where at least 50 buildings were damaged as a result of the strong quake.

7) An explosion at a vacant pizza restaurant in Plantation, Florida, on Saturday injured at least 23 people and caused significant damage, including to an adjacent L.A. Fitness. The incident occurred near the Fountains Plaza and the Plantation Marketplace, and officials originally believed that the explosion was caused by gas. An inspection by a TECO Peoples Gas technician allegedly found no natural gas leaks at the location, and investigators are probing further into the incident.

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8) Two wildfires have scorched at least 17,000 acres in East Idahoafter high winds -- created by area thunderstorms over the weekend -- caused the fires to spread exponentially. The two fires were sparked by lightning from thunderstorms that moved through the area Saturday afternoon, and began amid Red Flag Warnings issued that day by the National Weather Service (NWS). Firefighters are being supported by two bulldozers and water-dropping aircraft.

 

Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.