Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Crane Collapses in Dallas; Wildfire Causes Amusement Park Evacuation
EDM Monday Briefing: Crane Collapses in Dallas; Wildfire Causes Amusement Park Evacuation

EDM Monday Briefing: Crane Collapses in Dallas; Wildfire Causes Amusement Park Evacuation

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for June 9, 2019: One person is dead and at least five injured after a crane collapse in Dallas; drought has pushed 366,000 people to near-famine in Madagascar; new dam safety standards for miners is the focus of a Swiss environmental expert; a residential fire that began on the ground floor of an apartment building in London destroyed at least 20 apartments; a recently reconvened roundtable on hazardous materials response produces several emergent themes, including the public's role, responsibilities, and education; a nearby brush fire forced the evacuation of a popular amusement park in California; protection and prevention are the keys to avoiding cyberattacks which are becoming increasingly more common in the emergency services sector; and Indonesia's Mount Sinabung erupted and sent a plume of ash 4.4 miles into the sky.

1) Strong winds, heavy rains, and hail battered Dallas, Texas on Sunday afternoon, and caused a crane to collapse onto an apartment building. The collapse killed one person and injured at least five others -- two critically -- and destroyed several apartments. The downed crane, which was being used to construct a building across the street, also landed on an adjacent parking garage, damaging each level and vehicles parked within the structure.

2) More frequent and severe weather events are impacting the impoverished Indian Ocean nation of Madagascar. Droughts and cyclones have become more frequent, pushing those who are already extremely vulnerable to the edge, including nearly 366,000 individuals who are currently at emergency levels of food insecurity and one step away from famine due to drought. A top United Nations official made a plea for humanitarian assistance for these individuals and noted that in order to prevent food insecurity, efforts to build their resilience to absorb shocks such as droughts, floods, and cyclones, is critical.

3) Work is set to begin on new dam safety standards for miners around the world in the aftermath of one of the worst tailings dam failures that occurred in Brumadinho, Brazil, earlier this year. A Swiss environmental expert is set to gain facts on the dam collapse, and noted that because no comprehensive database exists for the thousands of dams located worldwide, a broad approach is required. The collapsed dam, owned by Vale, was used to store mining waste, known as tailings. It failed in January, releasing a river of mud that killed about 250 people, prompting an outcry for better regulations that has governing bodies seeking ways to improve dam safety.

4) The cause of a fire that destroyed at least 20 apartments in the Barking area of London Sunday afternoon is under investigation. Authorities said that no one was injured when a fire broke out in a ground floor apartment and spread to the sixth floor, forcing the evacuation of the building and nearby apartments. Nearly 100 firefighters were called to the scene from Barking, Dagenham, East Ham and surrounding fire departments. The fire was said to be under control by about 1:30 p.m. local time.

5) At a recently reconvened roundtable on hazardous materials response with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), several consistent themes emerged. These themes included the public's role, education, and hazard awareness that affect the ability to achieve a well-executed response, effective incident management, mitigation, and recovery. It was also noted that hazmat responses are complex incidents that span different fields within emergency services, requiring private sector partners and prior planning for a coordinated, efficient, and effective response.

6) A brush fire forced the evacuation and closure of a popular amusement park in California on Sunday amid near 100 degree temperatures, low relative humidity and winds of about 25 mph. Six Flags Magic Mountain and neighboring Hurricane Harbor were evacuated Sunday when a brush fire broke out near the park. At least 100 county firefighters battled the 40-acre blaze that broke out around noon near Interstate 5. The fire was about 20 percent contained by 4:00 p.m. local time.

7) Cyberattacks are becoming more common among agencies and organizations within the emergency services sector, who increasingly rely on systems and tools requiring networking capabilities and electronic data storage. In the already overwhelming list of natural and man-made disasters, cyberattack protection is likely to compete for time and resources that are already limited, but protection is a necessity to ensure resilience. Simple measures such as proper firewalls, virus protection, upgrades, regular data backups and effective training are keys to avoid ransom demands to unlock systems.

8) Indonesia's Mount Sinabung erupted on Sunday, spewing ash some 4.4 miles into the sky, and officials warn that further eruptions are possible. The volcano, which became active in 2010 after four centuries of silence, erupted for about nine minutes on Sunday, choking the air with spewed ash. Authorities have not changed the alert level for the active volcano located in Sumatra, but urged residents to remain indoors to avoid ash fall and to use face masks if it was necessary to venture outside.

 

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.