EDM Friday Briefing: Drones Disrupt Air Traffic at London's Gatwick Airport
Emergency and disaster management briefing for Friday December 21, 2018: A Legionnaire's outbreak at a Wisconsin Hospital results in three deaths, drones force a near 36 hour closure of London's Gatwick Airport, Alaska is being struck with minor aftershocks every few minutes since its major earthquake on November 30, Wegman's Food Markets is recalling products with cauliflower due to E. coli contamination concerns, a major 7.4 earthquake initially prompted tsunami warnings when it struck off the East Coast of Russia, no criminal charges are to be filed in the blast that killed a firefighter in Wisconsin last July, two nearly identical tropical cyclones are churning in the Southern Indian Ocean and one may become a major storm, and severe weather that spawned straight line winds and tornadoes tore through Florida on Thursday caused damage and one injury.
- A Legionnaire's outbreak at a Wisconsin hospital has resulted in the deaths of at least three people. UW Hospital health officials say testing identified a strain of Legionella from the hospital's water supply--which was previously found to be present during reduced flows in low demand hours--an issue the hospital has since corrected with chlorination. A total of 14 people were infected with the disease, however, according to hospital officials, the three patients that died had serious, life-limiting health conditions.
- London's Gatwick Airport reopened on Friday after being threatened by drones for nearly 36 hours, an incident that posed a significant safety hazard to aircraft and disrupted travel for over 100,000 people. Police, snipers, and special military teams struggled to locate and stop several drones that would fly in close proximity to the airport, disrupting air traffic at the field. According to government officials in Britain, the unprecedented worldwide event did not appear to be terrorism, and authorities are struggling to find a motive for the incident other than malicious mischief.
- The major 7.0 earthquake that struck Alaska was nearly three weeks ago, however the region is still being plagued with aftershocks. So far, area seismic sensors have registered at least 5,000 aftershocks, most smaller than a 3.0 magnitude, but at least nine aftershocks were more than a 4.0 magnitude. Seismologists also noted that before the major earthquake, the region experienced an average of several quakes a day--now there is an aftershock every few minutes.
- As part of the ongoing recall linked to romaine lettuce farms in California, Wegman's Food Markets is recalling cauliflower rice and vegetable stir-fry mixes. Their recall is linked to the Adams Bros Farming recall of cauliflower and red and green leaf lettuce issued last week due to possible E. coli contamination. After its supplier notified Wegman's of the possible contamination of the products, it recalled Cauliflower Rice, Veggie Cauliflower Rice Blend, and Stir-fry Mix with Cauliflower that was sold at 98 stores across Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia between December 7 and December 18.
- A major 7.4 earthquake struck off the eastern coast of Russia on Friday, initially sparking tsunami warnings. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) noted that the quake was about 5 miles deep, and struck 50 miles west of Nikol'skoye, in the Commander Islands. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cautioned that coastal areas within 186 miles of the epicenter were at risk for hazardous waves, a warning that later expired without any incident.
- Authorities in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin have stated that no criminal charges will be filed after an investigation into the July 10 blast that leveled a city block and killed one firefighter. According to redacted information released following the investigation, miscommunication and an improperly marked gas line main were reportedly the cause of the deadly blast, which also injured 11 others, including five firefighters and one police officer. The widow of the firefighter killed in the blast has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit, and additional lawsuits were filed by two of the injured firefighters.
- Two nearly identical tropical cyclones are churning through the Southern Indian Ocean as Category 2 storms according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. NASA shows that the storms, Tropical Cyclone Kenanga and Tropical Cyclone Cilida, both had maximum sustained winds near 90 knots, or about 103 mph Thursday, with Kenanga moving west and expected to weaken due to strong vertical wind shear. Cilida is expected to intensify throughout the weekend, and track very close to Mauritius as a dangerous tropical cyclone, the equivalent of a Category 4 or 5 hurricane.
- Severe storms that spawned straight line winds and multiple tornadoes ripped through Florida on Thursday, part of a line of severe weather set to impact the East Coast this weekend. Nearly 70 homes were damaged in Zephyrhills, Florida due to straight line winds, while at least three tornadoes touched down, one each in Polk, Manatee, and Charlotte counties. Localized flooding due to the heavy rainfall also affected regions across the state, including in Sarasota and Orlando, which received 4 and 3 inches of rain, respectively. Travelers are likely to face heavy rainfalls and flooding in the Northeast on Friday and into the weekend, likely creating delays on the road and possibly at airports from the severe weather.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 18, 2018
#Gatwick disruption: Runway currently available, limited number of aircraft scheduled for departure and arrival, officials say
Live coverage continues: https://t.co/AlQImKjAGc
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) December 21, 2018
Alaska is still being rattled by aftershocks following the 7.0-magnitude quake last month. A TV station reports there have been 5,000 aftershocks, or 1 every few minutes. https://t.co/kFh0gh1gLq
— AP West Region (@APWestRegion) December 19, 2018
RECALL ALERT: truly hoping it is our last of the year....https://t.co/dS7NQ55ftX
— Cooking Light (@CookingLight) December 20, 2018
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre at first said hazardous tsunami waves from the #earthquake were possible within 300 km of the epicentre along the coasts of #Russia, but later said the threat of #tsunami had passed.https://t.co/uCUIM6jfjQ
— Firstpost (@firstpost) December 21, 2018
The July 10 blast that rocked downtown Sun Prairie happened about 40 minutes after a subcontractor who was installing fiber communication lines struck the gas main.https://t.co/4aMoHUkyve
— TribLIVE.com (@TribLIVE) December 21, 2018
— Matt Devitt (@MattDevittWINK) December 21, 2018