EDM Wednesday Briefing: Injuries After Wind Gust Tilts Cruise Ship
Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 6, 2019: Several passengers and crew members were injured after a gust of wind tilted a Norwegian cruise ship to its port side; a United Express regional jet slid off the runway in Maine on its second landing attempt; NOAA predicted the strong tornado in Alabama but not everyone heeded the warning; British Transport Police have stepped up patrols following the discovery of three suspicious packages containing IEDs in London; another round of heavy rain prompted mandatory evacuations for residents near burn scar areas in Santa Barbara County; CalFire released a list of high-priority fuel-reduction projects aimed at protecting at least 200 communities from wildfires; no injuries were reported after two Marine fighter jets collided in mid-air last month; and all passengers and crew members onboard a chartered Virgin Atlantic flight were quarantined upon landing in London.
- Several passengers and crew members on board a Norwegian Cruise Line ship were injured Sunday night after a very strong gust of wind hit the ship and tilted it sideways. The wind gust-which registered at about 115 mph-equivalent to Category 3 hurricane winds--hit the ship, the Escape, just a few hours after the ship left port from New York City. The tilting of the ship caused scattered debris throughout the vessel, and even broke some windows, as the ship heeled to the port side, but no serious damage was found after it docked Tuesday in Port Canaveral, Florida.
- A United Express regional jet carrying 28 passengers and 3 crew members, veered off the runway on Monday after landing at Presque Isle, Maine. Flight 4933 departed Newark for Presque Isle, and landed at approximately 11:43 a.m.--on its second attempt, then quickly veered off the runway. Four passengers and one pilot were treated at the hospital for minor injuries and released, and the plane, a 50 seat Embraer ERJ145 operated by CommutAir, sustained visible damage to the nosecone and landing gear during the incident.
- Predicting the precise location where a tornado will hit is still beyond meteorological capabilities, however, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma got pretty close Sunday when they warned residents that a strong tornado was likely to occur within 30-60 minutes--somewhere within two counties in Alabama. Even so, people still failed to receive the warning and at least 23 deaths occurred when an EF4 tornado decimated the towns of Beauregard and Smiths Station. Meteorologists have an improved understanding of the ingredients involved that spawn tornadoes, such as rain drop size, the amount of cold air present, wind shear, and other factors, and continued research by NOAA is aimed at determining why some people do--and others do not--heed warnings.
- British Transport Police have stepped up patrols and presence at rail stations and the London Underground after three suspicious packages were received at buildings across London on Tuesday. The packages contained small IEDs (improvised explosive devices), and were received at Heathrow Airport, London City Airport's headquarters, and Waterloo rail station--packages that when opened, reportedly ignited a small fire. Officials believe the packages may have originated in Ireland, and Irish police are assisting the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command, which has launched an investigation into the incidents.
- Officials in Santa Barbara ordered an evacuation of residents of the Thomas, Whittier, and Sherpa burn scar areas by 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, after the National Weather Service (NWS) warned that another atmospheric river was headed for Southern California. The heaviest rainfall was expected to occur Tuesday night into Wednesday, with up to 2-4 inches of rainfall expected in Santa Barbara County. Los Angeles and Ventura counties were also under alert as heavy rainfall increased the risk of debris flows and flooding in the Creek, Hill, La Tuna, South, Stone, Thomas, and Woolsey burn scar areas, with forecasts also calling for anywhere from 2-4 inches of rain in those areas.
- The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) has released a list of high priority fuel-reduction projects aimed at dramatically increasing the removal of dead trees and other forest management initiatives with the help of the National Guard. The initiative would begin immediately and is slated to occur over roughly 90,000 acres, helping reduce the risk of wildfires for at least 200 communities. The input from local CalFire units focused on communities at high risk of wildfires, but also prioritized those with high numbers of vulnerable populations, such as the elderly or poor.
- Two Marine fighter jets collided in mid-air last month, and according to reports, the pilots managed to land safely back at the Southern California training base after the crash. No injuries were reported after the two F/A 18 Hornets collided over Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms on February 28, but the extent of the damage to the two fighter jets is unknown, although the incident is listed as a Class A Mishap--the plane is destroyed or sustains more than $2 million in damages. Military officials stated that the incident occurred during close-air support training, and an investigation into the crash is underway.
- All passengers and crew on a charter flight from Barbados to London were placed in quarantine upon arrival in London due to a widespread illness among passengers. All those on board Virgin Atlantic Flight VS610, an Airbus A330 aircraft--including crew members--that arrived at London's Gatwick Airport at 5:30 a.m., were taken for assessment after multiple passengers felt unwell on the plane. All of the passengers had previously been on a cruise onboard the MSC Preziosa, where the illness is believed to have originated.
— Sean Breslin (@Sean_Breslin) March 5, 2019
INCIDENT: United Express/CommutAir #UA4933 Newark to Presque Isle (Embraer E145 N14171) suffered a runway excursion on landing (2nd attempt) at 1130ET (1630UTC) today. Nosegear detached & became embedded in the port engine. Several minor injuries reported. https://t.co/obhPU5qPaz pic.twitter.com/btPwdqhzNO
— Airport Webcams (@AirportWebcams) March 4, 2019
Great article from the @AP about the need for effective meteorology with effective communication. There’s no question in my mind the more hype & sensationalism in media weather coverage, the harder it is to convey when there is a clear & present danger. https://t.co/l7doKEtSNF
— Matt Noyes NBC10 Boston & NECN (@MattNBCBoston) March 5, 2019
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) March 5, 2019
Storm update: Evacuation orders have been lifted for Santa Barbara County. L.A. and Ventura counties remain under a flash flood watch https://t.co/xLpSKpWTFs
— KTLA (@KTLA) March 6, 2019
— kcranews (@kcranews) March 6, 2019
The accident occurred while the aircraft were conducting close-air support training, according to a military safety brief obtained by the Marine Corps Times. https://t.co/eqYdCKqeTv
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) March 6, 2019
Virgin Atlantic says all passengers and crew on a charter flight from Barbados to London have been put into quarantine because of widespread illness on board. https://t.co/tb7PsGwpjz
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 6, 2019