Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Bridge Collapse Is Fifth in Five Years for Italy

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Bridge Collapse Is Fifth in Five Years for Italy


Emergency and disaster management briefing for August 15, 2018: A suspect is in custody following a shooting inside a Walmart in Philadelphia, the death toll has risen to 39 from the bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy, two children have tested positive for a rare strain of the swine flu in Michigan, officials announced that power has been fully restored across Puerto Rico, health officials in Alabama are investigating multiple reports of the West Nile and Zika viruses, a bus crash in Ecuador killed 24 and injured 22 outside Quito, an apparent natural gas explosion has critically injured one person in Denver, and the rapid growth of the Hirz Fire prompted additional evacuations near Lake Shasta in California.

  1. At least five people were injured, including three people who were shot, inside a Philadelphia Walmart on Tuesday evening when a suspected gunman opened fire after a dispute in the checkout line. The man fled the store, jumped into his car, and after tossing the gun from the car, crashed into a police SUV that was responding to another incident in the area. The suspect was arrested, but attempted to kick out the police cruiser windows, and officers used a stun gun to subdue the suspect.  
  2. A bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy on Tuesday killed at least 39 people, including children, when it suddenly crumbled and fell 150 feet-falling into empty warehouses, railroad tracks, and the river it spanned. The incident occurred during a particularly violent storm, however, concern has been expressed in recent years that the Morandi bridge was allegedly in danger of a structural collapse. This is the fifth bridge collapse in Italy in five years, and many are questioning the stability of Italian infrastructure and the nation's engineering standards.  
  3. Two children were sickened by the H1N2 strain of the swine flu after attending a county fair in Michigan. Several pigs exhibited at the Fowlerville Family Fair held from July 23 to 28 tested positive for an influenza strain similar to the one found in the children. The H1N2 is a rare strain of the swine flu, and so far this year, there have only been two other cases reported, which were in California, with a total of 17 cases identified to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 2005.  
  4. Officials in Puerto Rico announced that power has been restored to all remaining residents on the island after the connection to the Ponce neighborhood was completed. The neighborhood was the last section to be reconnected due to obstructions such as landslides, and rough terrain, which made access difficult. Officials also noted that wooden power poles were replaced with steel ones in hopes they would be more robust against any future storms.  
  5. Officials from the Alabama Department of Public Health are investigating multiple reports of West Nile and Zika infections within the state. The agency did state that there are no known local transmissions of Zika, all of the reported cases have come from individuals who have traveled to locations where Zika is known to be endemic. Health officials state that the best way to avoid possible infection with either virus is to use appropriate preventive measures, such as insect repellant and loose fitting, long sleeve shirts and pants.  
  6. A bus crash in Ecuador killed at least 24 people and injured another 22 after it lost its brakes, hit an oncoming vehicle, and rolled over four times. The bus was in Pifo, traveling to Quito, the nation's capital, when its brakes failed and the bus hit an oncoming vehicle at high speed, then crashed into several houses along the Pifo-Papallacta highway as it was rolling over. Three people in the smaller vehicle, including two children, were among those killed.  https://twitter.com/ajplus/status/1029417296203137024
  7. Part of an apartment complex was demolished when an apparent natural gas explosion leveled a section of a one-story, four-plex, brick row house in Denver, Colorado on Tuesday. Nine people were injured, including two people who were inside the building at the time of the explosion-a man who suffered critical injuries, and a woman who was in stable condition at the hospital. Seven other people in the area at the time of the blast were treated at the scene for minor injuries and released.  
  8. The Hirz Fire burning near the McCloud River Arm of Lake Shasta, grew to more than 7,300 acres overnight on Tuesday, according to officials at the U.S. Forest Service. Additional evacuations were ordered yesterday afternoon after increased activity in Bastard Canyon, and high temperatures and low humidity are impacting the wildfire. The blaze, which began on August 9 and was allegedly human-caused, remains active in rugged and steep terrain, has over 640 personnel assigned, and is still only about 5 percent contained.  

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.