Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Continued Eruptions of the Volcan del Fuego Volcano Prompt Evacuations and Hamper Rescue Efforts

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Continued Eruptions of the Volcan del Fuego Volcano Prompt Evacuations and Hamper Rescue Efforts


Emergency and disaster management briefing for June 6, 2018: Continued eruptions of the Volcan del Fuego prompt evacuations and hamper rescue operations in Guatemala, police chase a stolen armored personnel carrier 60 miles in Virginia, the 416 Wildfire is only 10 percent contained as more than 400 firefighters work to combat the blaze, dramatic pictures reveal damages to an American Airlines plane caught in a hail storm, evacuations have been lifted for the Stone Fire in Los Angeles, a building collapse in Philadelphia trapped and killed a contractor working to demolish the old home, police have identified the man suspected of a killing spree in Arizona, and lava flows from Kilauea in Hawaii have nearly doubled the number of homes destroyed since Friday.

  1. Hot volcanic material poured down the south side of the Volcan del Fuego volcano in Guatemala on Tuesday, prompting the closure of a national highway and causing additional evacuations as the mountain continued its deadly eruptions. New reports indicate that at least 70 people are dead since the volcano began erupting, and more than 3,000 people were evacuated as eight to ten moderate eruptions per hour occurred Tuesday from the volcano. Torrential rainfall overnight also sent new flows of toxic material into streets--a mixture of hot lava, pumice, ash and volcanic gases--making roads impassable and hampering rescue efforts.  
  2. A suspect that stole an armored personnel carrier from a Virginia National Guard base led police on a chase that lasted 60 miles and ended in Richmond, Virginia. The suspect, a soldier, stole the vehicle from Fort Pickett, in Nottoway County, then abandoned the vehicle in Richmond before being apprehended near City Hall. Trooper's had to use a taser on the male suspect to apprehend him when he failed to heed commands from law enforcement
  3. A wildfire burning about 10 miles north of Durango, Colorado has grown by another 600 acres and extended the closure of the Durango & Silverton narrow gauge railroad, however no homes, businesses, or other structures have been lost. The wildfire, which began Friday, has burned down to Highway 550, closing portions of the highway, but an aggressive attack by fire fighters has--so far--prevented it from crossing the roadway. The 416 Fire--as it has been named--is burning in the San Juan National Forest and has consumed 4.6 square miles (2,933 acres), is only 10 percent contained, and is being fought by more than 400 firefighters who are receiving support from six helicopters and two air tankers.  
  4. Dramatic new pictures show the extent of damage an American Airlines plane received during a hail storm that required its pilots to divert to El Paso, Texas  on Sunday and make an emergency landing. Flight 1897 departed San Antonio, Texas for Phoenix, Arizona at 6:57 p.m. and encountered a hail storm over New Mexico that caused damage to the nose cone and smashed windshields on the Airbus A319 aircraft. The plane had 130 passengers and five crew members on board when it diverted to El Paso and landed safely and without further incident at 8:03 p.m.  
  5. Evacuations have been lifted for neighborhoods in Agua Dulce, but the wildfire that caused them--the Stone Fire--has now grown to nearly 1,400 acres and is about 63 percent contained. The wildfire began Monday around 12:30 p.m. and quickly spread up the hillside due to dry vegetation, high winds, and nearly triple digit temperatures, with wind gusts of 20 mph helping to fan the flames. More than 500 firefighters are working to contain the blaze, along with several aircraft, and the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.  
  6. In Philadelphia, a building being demolished near Brewerytown partially collapsed on Monday, killing one person. The building was an old home that was listed with the city as being structurally compromised, and was to be hand demolished only--due to the danger it posed. A contractor, Harvey Figgs, 59, and one other person, were trapped under brick and rubble after the back portion of the building crumbled. The other person was able to escape but Figgs,  who could be heard shouting 'Help Me,' died after rescuers were unable to free him from the heavy bricks and rubble
  7. The man suspected of a killing spree in Arizona is dead after he allegedly committed suicide as SWAT teams closed in on the hotel in Scottsdale where he was staying. Authorities identified the man suspected of killing up to six people over five days in Arizona as Dwight Lamon Jones, 56. Investigators have already tied Jones to four murders, and he may also be responsible for two additional deaths, a man and a woman, whose bodies were found on Monday. 
  8. Lava flows continue unimpeded into Kapoho Bay off Hawaii's Big Island as Kilauea continues to erupt and cause massive devastation in the area. The number of homes destroyed since Friday nearly doubled--to at least 159--by Tuesday, as vigorous lava flows continue across the region. Lava has also increased the land mass by 0.7 miles into Kapoho Bay. Officials note that Fissure Eight, which has been responsible for the increased lava flows, is the most powerful and destructive, and caution residents living nearby the areas recently inundated with lava that they should be prepared to evacuate at a moments notice. 

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.