Emergency and disaster management briefing for January 25, 2019: Authorities are still searching for a motive for the mass shooting at a SunTrust bank in Florida; health officials in Clark County, Washington, have declared a public health emergency due to a measles outbreak; residents thought there was an earthquake in Los Angeles when a sinkhole opened up between two condominium complexes; WHO is warning of an outbreak in Argentina of the hantavirus for which there is no cure or treatment; state investigators found that PG&E is not to blame for the deadly Tubbs Fire that broke out in October of 2017 in California’s wine country; a 5.3 magnitude earthquake struck the resort island of Rhodes on Thursday; the Coast Guard has called off its search for a missing Royal Caribbean crew member who reportedly fell overboard; and authorities in Georgia launched a manhunt for an armed and dangerous suspect who allegedly killed four and injured one outside of Atlanta.
- Authorities still have no motive for the mass shooting at a bank in Sebring, Florida on Wednesday that left five people dead. The suspect, Zephen Xaver, 21, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest and had a handgun, was taken into custody following a standoff with SWAT after he shot and killed five people in a SunTrust Bank. Police say that the victims, all women, were laying face down on the ground when they were shot in their heads and backs from behind by Xaver.
- An ongoing measles outbreak in Clark County, Washington has prompted health officials to declare a public health emergency. So far, county health officials have confirmed 23 cases of measles, majority of them in children ages 1-10 years old, and are investigating two more suspected cases. Measles is an extremely contagious disease that is easily and quickly spread through mucus in a cough or sneeze, and spores can live in airspace for up to two hours, with vaccination being the only means of prevention.
- A large sinkhole opened up between two condominium complexes in Los Angeles County on Wednesday morning, which residents at first thought was an earthquake. Upon inspection, the Los Angeles County Fire Department estimated the sinkhole to be 80 to 100 feet long and about 20 feet wide, and voluntary evacuations ensued. One condo was damaged when the earth collapsed into a flood control channel, and the cause of the sinkhole is under investigation.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) is warning of a deadly outbreak of the hantavirus, a disease transmitted by rats and other rodents, in Argentina. According to WHO, at least 11 people have died after becoming infected with the virus, with majority of the cases being in Epúyen, in Argentina’s Chubut province. There is no treatment or cure for the virus, which is contracted through the droppings of infected rodents or their saliva, and causes headaches, dizziness, fever, nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, before the onset of severe respiratory symptoms.
- An official investigation into the cause of the Tubbs Fire in 2017 that destroyed thousands of homes and killed 22 people, was found to be caused by a private electrical system, not equipment from the utility company, PG&E. In their report, state investigators stated that the fire started when “an unknown event affecting privately owned conductor equipment” occurred on a property in Napa County, about 3 miles north of Calistoga. The Tubbs Fire broke out in October of 2017, scorched more than 36,800 acres (over 57 square miles), and destroyed at least 5,600 structures, and was the most destructive fire in California history until the Camp Fire in 2018.
- Greek authorities are reporting that an earthquake of a magnitude 5.3 struck the resort island of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea around 4:30 p.m. local time on Thursday. The quake, which was at a depth of about 6.2 miles beneath the sea, was centered about 38 miles south of Rhodes, near the Turkish coast. No damages or injuries were reported, and officials noted that a smaller quake had also struck in the same area on Tuesday.
- The Coast Guard is searching for a missing crew member that reportedly fell overboard from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in the early morning hours on Thursday. Multiple crew member accounts indicate that a 26-year-old man fell overboard from the Majesty of the Seas ship around 2:30 a.m., when it was about 37 miles off the Florida coastline and headed for Port Everglades. Ship officers notified the Coast Guard who launched a search for the 26-year-old unidentified man, but it has since been called off.
- Authorities in Georgia have launched a manhunt for an individual who allegedly killed four people and severely wounded a fifth person at two different homes outside Atlanta on Thursday evening. The man, who has been identified by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as Daylon Delon Gamble, 27, is considered armed and very dangerous. The injured person was airlifted to an Atlanta hospital, and authorities stated that two men and two women were among those killed, although police do not have a motive for the shootings.
FL BANK SHOOTING- Morgan CTM PKG FRI0078- Flags across Florida are at half-staff to honor five people killed in a mass shooting at a bank. The victims, all of whom were women, include one customer and four employees of the bank in Sebring. pic.twitter.com/7dpwx3qz7r
— CBS Newspath (@cbsnewspath) January 25, 2019
Measles outbreak update: 22 confirmed cases, 3 suspect cases. Three new exposure locations: Orchards Elementary School, PeaceHealth Urgent Care – Memorial, Dollar Tree (Orchards). Details: https://t.co/hDls0L2GFi
— Clark County WA_PH (@ClarkCoWA_PH) January 21, 2019
Giant Sinkhole Opens Up, Forces Evacuations in South Los Angeles Neighborhood https://t.co/APbtn8A5Tf
— Ruth Plant (@ruth99rs) January 25, 2019
WHO warns of deadly outbreak of rat-borne hantavirus in Argentina as fatalities reach at least 11 https://t.co/6VcevyTClK
— The Japan Times (@japantimes) January 24, 2019
The Tubbs Fire started the evening of Oct. 8, 2017, and burned a total of 36,807 acres in Napa and Sonoma counties — destroying 5,636 structures and resulting in the deaths of 22 civilians and one firefighter injury. #PatchCalifornia https://t.co/82UsVZFLL1
— Santee Patch (@SanteePatch) January 25, 2019
— The National Herald (@NationalHerald) January 24, 2019
The Coast Guard has called off the search for a 26-year-old crewmember who went overboard from a Royal Caribbean cruise yesterday:https://t.co/WQQqgGIZyI
— WHSVnews (@WHSVnews) January 25, 2019
Man suspected of killing 4 people on the run in Georgia https://t.co/GhyCP0NIR5
— WKRN (@WKRN) January 25, 2019