Emergency and disaster management briefing for September 23, 2019: A bus crash near Bryce Canyon National Park killed four and injured 26 others; the DRC has announced plans to introduce another vaccine to combat the ongoing Ebola outbreak; suspected drone activity diverted two flights and disrupted arrivals at Dubai International Airport on Sunday; Bolivia wildfires rage as firefighters grow weary of the months-long fire fight; Tropical Storm Karen has formed in the Caribbean Sea and could impact Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Tuesday; the USGS recorded a 5.6 magnitude earthquake that struck the Albania port city of Durres on Saturday; the NWS has issued a red flag warning for much of Northern California through Wednesday; and Tropical Depression 13 has formed off the coast of West Africa and is forecast to become a hurricane possibly by Tuesday.
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1) Four people are dead after a tour bus crashed outside of Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah on Friday. All of the other 26 passengers were transported to hospitals, with injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening. Five critically injured people were evacuated to hospitals by helicopter. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the crash, which may have been caused by the driver, who reportedly was multitasking.
DEVELOPING: 4 dead, at least 30 injured in tour bus crash near Bryce Canyon in Utah; police confirming the victims are Chinese speaking tourists pic.twitter.com/ycOIVrK0Lk
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 20, 2019
2) As the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues to battle the second worst outbreak of Ebola, another vaccine is set to be introduced. Health authorities in the DRC stated that a second vaccine, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and requiring two doses administered eight weeks apart, will soon be introduced to compliment the current Merck vaccine. The Merck vaccine has been administered to over 225,000 people since August of 2018 and is given in a single dose.
— Lampaert Emmanuel (@LampaertE) September 22, 2019
3) Suspected drone activity caused the diversion of two flights from Dubai International Airport -- the world's busiest airport for international travelers -- in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday. The diverted flights, operated by Emirates Airlines, were arriving from Australia via Singapore and from India, when they had to be diverted about 15 miles north to Sharjah International Airport. Arrivals into the airport were also disrupted for about 15 minutes around midday due to the suspected drone activity.
Dubai’s main airport closed on Sunday for 15 minutes on suspected drone activity, Emirates airline said https://t.co/wNUtrrwbb6
— Bloomberg (@business) September 22, 2019
4) Some of the worst wildfires in at least two decades are ravaging Bolivia, and firefighters are beginning to lose hope that the fires can be contained. The drought-stricken region near Concepcion has been burning for nearly two months; fires across the country have nearly doubled in size in just three weeks, scorching a total of nearly 6 million acres. Four firefighters have died, and intense heat and smoke on the front lines often prevents work but for a few minutes at a time. According to reports, firefighters are working with the bare minimum of equipment essentials, such as a water backpack and a machete. They also lack the necessary heavy equipment to cut fire lines that can help prevent the fire from spreading.
Firefighters, troops and volunteers have been working for the past two months to put out some of the worst wildfires in the country's recent historyhttps://t.co/rf2upQgFhe
— MPR News (@MPRnews) September 22, 2019
5) Tropical Storm Karen is churning in the Caribbean Sea and is expected to pass over or near Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Tuesday. Karen has a minimum central pressure of 1007 mb or 29.74 inches of mercury. Forecasters expect some fluctuations of strength to occur over the next 48 hours due to strong upper-level winds. The storm is currently moving to the northwest at 8 mph with tropical storm force winds extending out about 105 miles and current sustained winds of 40 mph.
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 23, 2019
6) According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a 5.6 magnitude earthquake rocked the Albanian port city of Durres on Saturday, sending residents out into the streets in panic. The quake, which also shook the Tirana region, was quickly followed by another strong tremor of a 5.3 magnitude. Although about 68 people suffered injuries, there were no reported deaths due to the quakes. Multiple homes, apartment buildings and other buildings reportedly suffered cracks and other damages from the tremor, which allegedly was the strongest quake to hit the area in nearly 30 years.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) September 21, 2019
7) Warm temperatures, combined with lower humidity and forecast high winds, has produced critical fire weather in parts of Sacramento County, including the Sacramento Valley, into the Sierra Nevada Foothills and along the North Coast. A red flag warning is in effect for much of Northern California due to the area forecast that is in place for Monday and continues through Wednesday. A building high pressure is producing the dangerous fire weather conditions, including wind gusts of 40-50 mph in various regions.
— Wildfire Today 🔥 (@wildfiretoday) September 23, 2019
8) A new system -- Tropical Depression 13 -- has formed off the coast of West Africa and could become a tropical storm later on Monday. The system is becoming better organized and is currently moving toward the west at about 15 mph, with a minimum central pressure of 1007 mb or 29.74 inches of mercury and sustained winds of 35 mph with higher gusts. The storm continues to strengthen and is forecast to likely become a hurricane by late Tuesday or early Wednesday morning.
Tropical Depression 13 has just formed in the far E Atlantic and should become our next tropical storm and hurricane. The next name on the list is #Lorenzo. We will monitor this system, but it should re-curve into the north Atlantic and not affect land. https://t.co/Zj1KCEQuz2 pic.twitter.com/YAYeD9UY0W
— Hurricane Tracker App (@hurrtrackerapp) September 23, 2019