Emergency and disaster management briefing for February 8, 2019: Officials in Butte County, California have dropped the Camp Fire death toll by one; a Norwegian Air Shuttle flight was diverted back to its departure city after a bomb threat against the flight was received; contractors are set to begin demolition of the remaining portions of Italy's Morandi bridge following its collapse last August; New Zealand has issued additional evacuation orders as a wildfire sweeps through Wakefield on South Island; Brazilian officials are planning to ban upstream tailings dams following the collapse of the Vale SA tailings dam last month that killed at least 300 people; the death toll continues to rise from the building collapse in Istanbul, Turkey on Wednesday; a CBP agent shot a driver at a border crossing after he attempted to run over another agent; and two volcanos unleashed fresh eruptions in Indonesia and prompted evacuation warnings.
- Officials in Butte County, California dropped the death count on Thursday for the Camp Fire to 85 victims, down one from the previous total. The total dropped by one after remains thought to belong to two different people, were identified as belonging to just one person. Officials have also lowered the number of people missing to two from three, after one individual, John Demianew, was recently arrested by the Sacramento Police Department on an outstanding warrant.
- Contractors are set to begin demolition on Friday of the remaining parts of the Morandi bridge in Genoa, Italy that collapsed and killed 43 people on August 14, 2018. The bridge linked the Italian port city with southern France, and an approximate 656 foot section of the bridge gave way the day before a holiday, during busy lunchtime travel. Officials stated that once the bridge is demolished, reconstruction will begin, which should take about 15 months.
- A wildfire that began Tuesday and swept through a portion of New Zealand forced the evacuation of about 700 residents in Wakefield, a town on South Island. The blaze has consumed at least 5,000 acres, destroyed at least one home, and was believed to have been sparked by farm equipment. Drought-like conditions are fueling the fire, along with other, smaller fires in the region, and with no rain in the immediate forecast, firefighters said it could take as many as four or five days to fully contain the blaze.
- The National Mining Agency in Brazil is planning to ban upstream tailings dams that are used to store mining waste after the recent disaster in Minas Gerais. Last month, a tailings dam burst, releasing a torrent of sludge that buried people and buildings, killing at least 150 people and leaving another 182 missing--who are now presumed dead. The dam, built and owned by Vale SA, was constructed using the cheapest and least stable tailings dam design, and officials said that there are a total of 88 upstream dams, which will need to be taken down or converted.
- A Norwegian Air Shuttle flight returned to its departure airport in Sweden following a bomb threat. According to authorities, the bomb threat was targeted toward Flight DY4321, which had taken off from Arlanda Airport, outside Stockholm, and was bound for Nice, France. The flight departed Arlanda at 10:01 a.m. local time, carrying 163 passengers and six crew members, and returned to the airport at 11:12 a.m., where passengers sat on the plane for almost two hours before they were evacuated from the aircraft and booked onto other flights.
- The death toll from the building collapse on Wednesday in the Kartal district of Istanbul, Turkey, has risen to 14, after three more bodies were recovered from the rubble. It is unclear how many remain missing, but a 16-year-old boy was found alive on Friday, bringing the total number of those pulled alive from the wreckage to fourteen. The building that collapsed was an eight story apartment building, and government officials have promised punishment to anyone found responsible for the collapse once the investigation has been completed.
- A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agent shot the driver of a vehicle that was attempting to run over an agent and force its way across the border into Mexico on Thursday. The incident occurred at the DeConcini Port, and the momentum of the car carried it across the border into Mexico, where Mexican border officers surrounded the vehicle. The passenger of the vehicle was arrested, and Mexican officials noted that the driver had been shot in the head, but his condition was unknown.
- Two volcanos in Indonesia have begun spewing lava in fresh eruptions, including Mount Merapi, on the main island of Java. The eruption began late Thursday, and fresh, hot lava was seen spilling down the slopes of the volcano for about 6,560 feet, as it shot out hot clouds. Just hours earlier, another eruption of Mount Karangetang on North Sulawesi's Siau Island, prompted evacuations as it spewed lava and searing gas, while authorities increased the danger zone out from 1.8 miles to 2.4 miles from the crater.
The Butte County sheriff's office Thursday dropped the death toll from a devastating 2018 wildfire to 85 people from 86. Remains from the Camp Fire thought to be from two separate people were from the same individual. pic.twitter.com/GfFd0LWdu2
— NewsRadio KFBK (@kfbk) February 8, 2019
Demolition work begins on the Morandi Bridge in Italy's Genoa, six months after a 180-metre section gave way, killing 43 people pic.twitter.com/rAopoEXV7t
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) February 8, 2019
Police advise the CD controller has authorised further evacuation of the Wakefield area.
The additional area now to be evacuated is bound by
- Barton Lane to the north
- Higgins Road to the east, through to Baigent Valley Road to the south #NelsonFire
— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) February 8, 2019
— Craig Goff (@thatdamguy) February 3, 2019
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) February 7, 2019
— Covensure Brokerage (@CovensureLLC) February 8, 2019
— Digital Journal (@digitaljournal) February 8, 2019