Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Earthquake Strikes Greece and Turkey, Midwest Flooding

EDM Friday Briefing: Earthquake Strikes Greece and Turkey, Midwest Flooding

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for July 21, 2017: An earthquake strikes Greece and Turkey killing at least two, passengers are injured during an emergency evacuation of a Thomas Cook airplane, Minnesota and Wisconsin battle flooding and landslides following heavy rainfall, more than 3,000 firefighters continue to battle the Detwiler fire in California, a new report points to possible major safety issues with the Oroville Dam, a massive coffee recall is issued due to undeclared ingredients, the Coast Guard performs a nuclear short-notice response drill in Southern California, and a mass of cooler air will provide relief from extreme heat in the central and eastern United States.

  1. A 6.7 magnitude earthquake that struck Greece and Turkey's Aegean coast early Friday morning has killed at least two people and injured more than 100 people. The shipping port on Greece's Kos Island was damaged during the quake, and severe structural damage occurred to many older buildings built before current earthquake building codes were enacted. The quake was centered approximately 6 miles from Bodrum, Turkey and about 10 miles from Kos at a depth of around 6.2 miles. At least 20 aftershocks have been recorded in the area, with several registering a magnitude of at least 4.7. 
  2. Passengers and crew were evacuated from a Thomas Cook flight set to depart Egypt's Hurghada airport that was bound for London Gatwick after its crew reported smelling something burning and smoke was observed in the cabin. Slides were deployed and an emergency evacuation took place. There were 251 passengers and nine crew members on board the aircraft, and at least three people were injured during the emergency evacuation, including one person that reportedly was transported to a hospital with a shoulder injury. 
  3. Road closures and landslides were triggered by widespread flooding across Minnesota and Wisconsin after 4 to 7 inches of rain fell overnight Thursday. Arcadia, Wisconsin residents evacuated their homes due to rising waters from a nearby creek that flooded the downtown area and various neighborhoods. Various road closures, including Interstate 90, and highways 16, 26, 61, and 95 were a result of mudslides and flooding from the heavy rainfall.
  4. Over 3,100 fire fighters are working 10 to 20 hour shifts to battle the Detwiler fire in California, which grew to 70,000 acres by Thursday and was only 10 percent contained according to fire officials. The wildfire burning near gold rush era towns close to Yosemite National Park has destroyed a total of 99 structures, 50 of which were homes, while threatening another 1,500 and has resulted in thousands of residents being evacuated. Fire fighters were able to stop the blaze about a half mile from the century old town of Mariposa, California by dropping red retardant and building fire breaks.
  5. Oroville Dam officials insist that the dam is safe even in light of persistent questions regarding wet spots near the top left abutment of the nation's tallest dam. But a new report from a volunteer team of dam professionals, led by Robert Bea of UC Berkeley's Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, have revealed serious concerns that a slow-motion failure mode, possibly from the internal shifting of dam fill, may be occurring. Report findings also revealed other serious issues with the dam, including broken and cracked anchor tendons in the support structures for the spillway gates, prompting Bea to call for an independent investigation into the soundness of the Oroville Dam.
  6. A nationwide voluntary recall of coffee due to undeclared ingredients is being coordinated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The coffee brand being recalled is Bestherbs Coffee, LLC's New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herb Coffee because it contains desmethyl carbodenafil, a ingredient similar in structure to Viagra, and milk. The FDA indicates that desmethyl cabodenafil can interact with nitrates in some prescription drugs, causing dangerously low blood pressure levels, while the undeclared milk can be dangerous for individuals with milk allergies or sensitivities. 
  7. During a visit by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, the U.S. Coast Guard in Southern California demonstrated their readiness in a nuclear-detection drill on Thursday. The drill simulated a maritime nuclear-detection incident that was a short-notice response, requiring Coast Guard members to board a cutter deemed to be a hostile ship and systematically sweep the vessel for radiation. The drill, which took place at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, was considered a success, but Kelly noted that there is always room for improvement in today's ever-changing threat environment.
  8. Cooler air arriving from the north will help provide relief from extreme heat and temperatures by early next week for portions of the central and eastern United States, but high temperatures will persist in the southern Plains and the Southeast. The cooler temperatures will be a brief respite before a rise in temperatures and humidity occurs mid to late next week. The Northeast will also see cooler air keeping the extreme heat at bay, likely through the end of July. 

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.