Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Strong Earthquake Hits off the Coast of Oregon

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Strong Earthquake Hits off the Coast of Oregon


Emergency and disaster management briefing for August 22, 2018: Hurricane Lane is now a Category 5 storm and the NWS has issued a hurricane warning for the Big Island of Hawaii, Venezuela was struck by a shallow and powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake off its northeastern coast, a flash flood in a narrow gorge in Italy has killed at least 10 and left 11 hospitalized, Colorado issued air quality alerts on Tuesday due to heavy smoke arriving from West Coast wildfires, a second case of the measles has been diagnosed in Portland in just 10 days, a new study reveals ever-increasing new street drug combinations make identification and treatment for overdoses more difficult, India begins its cleanup from the intense flooding that killed more than 220 and displaced nearly 800,000 people, and a strong earthquake struck off the coast of Oregon early Wednesday morning.

  1. Hurricane Lane is churning toward Hawaii as a Category 5 Hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph and hurricane force winds extending out 40 miles, and tropical storm-force winds out to 140 miles. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a hurricane warning for the Big Island of Hawaii, meaning hurricane conditions are likely within the next 36 hours. A hurricane watch has been issued for the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai, and Kahoolawe, and Gov. David Ige issued an emergency proclamation Tuesday night ahead of the approaching storm.  
  2. Venezuela was struck with a powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake at about 5:32 p.m. on Tuesday, at a depth of about 76 miles. The quake struck along the northeastern coast of the nation, with its epicenter 12 miles off the sparsely populated Cariaco Peninsula. The quake was felt as far away as the Columbian capital of Bogota, and widespread damage was reported across a large area, including power outages in Trinidad, but there were no immediate reports of any fatalities.  
  3. The search for people who may have been swept away during a flash flood in a gorge in Italy on Monday has been called off. A torrent of water nearly 8 feet deep filled the narrow Raganello Gorge after intense rainfalls impacted the area, killing 10 people, while rescue workers saved another 34 people that had become trapped. Among those rescued, 11 people were hospitalized, including at least four children, some of whom lost one or both of their parents in the flash flood.  
  4. Smoke from fires burning on the West Coast prompted air quality alerts in southern Colorado on Tuesday as the smoke laden air drifted eastward. A total of at least 14 counties were placed under the advisory, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment noted that moderate to heavy smoke was likely in the morning, with a decrease in smoke toward the afternoon. The smoke is primarily coming from three large fires, the Stone Fire burning in Oregon and Washington, northern Nevada's Sheep Creek Fire, and the Coal Hollow Fire burning in Utah, and the advisories continue into Wednesday as hazy conditions return.  
  5. A second case of the measles in just 10 days has been diagnosed in Portland, Oregon, and health officials say it is the fifth diagnosis since June 27. The second person diagnosed reportedly had close contact with the first person diagnosed, which occurred sometime between July 30 and August 6. Health officials released dates, times, and the locations where the second person infected may have come in contact with the public, including the Portland International Airport, and noted that unvaccinated individuals were at a higher risk of becoming infected. Public health officials noted that a high rate of vaccination against measles is the only way to stop its spread among populations, because the disease is highly contagious.  
  6. A newly released study conducted in Maryland reveals the difficulties experienced by doctors in emergency rooms when they are presented with a patient that they suspect may have overdosed on drugs. The study highlights how streets drugs, altered into new combinations, are not being detected by typical hospital drug tests, making it difficult to determine the proper treatment. The ever-increasing new drug combinations also often include fentanyl, which has contributed to a recent spike in overdose deaths.  
  7. India has scaled back its flood rescue operations as rains across the Kerala region decreased substantially through the day Monday, and forecasts call for only light to moderate rain over the coming days. People left the relief camps to inspect their homes, many of which were uninhabitable due to mud, sludge, and the lack of water and electricity. Although power has been restored to some areas, a vast region of Kerala still remains without power, and according to officials, it may take some time before power is fully restored to all areas of the state. Government officials noted that at least 223 have died in Kerala since the torrential downfalls began on August 8.  
  8. A strong earthquake struck just off the coast of south-central Oregon around 1:30 a.m. local time Wednesday, at a shallow depth of about 6 miles. The quake, which according to the United States Geological Survey has a preliminary magnitude of 6.2, struck off Coos Bay-about 165 miles to its west-and was felt all the way in Portland, some 220 miles away. No tsunami threat was associated with the quake, and there have been no reports of injuries or damages by authorities in Coos Bay.  

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.