Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Earthquake and Tsunami Death Toll Rises to More Than 800
EDM Monday Briefing: Earthquake and Tsunami Death Toll Rises to More Than 800

EDM Monday Briefing: Earthquake and Tsunami Death Toll Rises to More Than 800


Emergency and disaster management briefing for October 1, 2018: The death toll in Indonesia continues to rise after a major earthquake and tsunami waves inundated the region near Palu, Facebook announces that a recent hack compromised nearly 50 million accounts, three people in Pennsylvania are dead following a violent vehicle explosion, officials in Mississippi are drawing attention to the state's failing infrastructure amid port expansion efforts, Whole Foods has recalled tortilla chips for an undeclared milk ingredient, the FBI warns that sexual predators are using online gaming to target underage children, 2 people are dead and at least 120 are injured after Typhoon Trami makes landfall in Japan, and authorities are searching for an Ohio woman who went missing in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park while hiking with her daughter.

1) The death toll in Indonesia continues to rise, with a total of 844 confirmed dead, as rescue workers struggle to reach areas hit by a major 7.5 earthquake that triggered tsunami waves of at least 20 feet on Friday. The quake liquefied soil which swallowed homes (liquefaction), and it also triggered landslides, toppled buildings and homes, and cut power and communication across four regions, including the city of Palu, that combined, is home to nearly 1.4 million people. Heavy equipment and supplies are being directed to the region, however, access to the Donggala area north of Palu, remains cut off due to impassable roads, landslides, and heavy debris.

2) Facebook announced Friday that its system had been hacked and nearly 50 million user accounts had been compromised. A security flaw in the system related to the "view as" feature allowed hackers to gain control of user's accounts through access tokens. The tech company noted that it was unsure if private messages had been affected, and officials from the company stated that updates would be made to the public as more information was discovered regarding the hack.

3) Three people are dead after a vehicle explosion occurred in Allentown, Pennsylvania on Sunday evening. The explosion was so violent, it appeared to split the vehicle in two, threw debris hundreds of yards, shattered windows, and was felt across the city. An investigation into the blast is being led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, (ATF), but authorities believe it was an isolated incident and that there is no additional threat to residents or the city.

4) Officials in Mississippi are drawing attention to their critical infrastructure that is failing--which would negatively impact nearly all Americans due to its importance. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2017 report card, the nation received an overall D+, and Mississippi helped achieve that dismal score with 12.3 percent of its 2,098 bridges being structurally deficient, 305 high-hazard potential dams, and repairs for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure require at least 10 billion dollars over the next 20 years. Increased cargo shipments in Gulfport also require additional infrastructure repairs and improvements, including to Highway 49, a critical truck route that according to state officials, is currently a narrow and dangerous farm road.



5) Whole Foods has recalled white corn tortilla chips because they may contain an undeclared milk ingredient. The chips, 365 Everyday Value White Corn Tortilla Chips, were sold across the United States and Canada, and were recalled after one customer notified Whole Foods that the chip bags contained other snack mix product in the bag. The undeclared milk can cause a life-threatening reaction in individuals with an allergy or severe sensitivity to the product, and the company is encouraging individuals to return their 20 oz. bags that have a best by date of January 24-25, 2019, and the UPC code 9948247145, for a full refund.

6) The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning that sexual predators are using online gaming to target underage boys and girls. The announcement and warning comes after a sting operation in New Jersey yielded two dozen arrests as agents posed as underage players that played Fortnite, which is thought to be the world's most popular online game right now. Officials noted that with little verification and no online policing of the games or their chat features, many of the players are likely not who they say they are, prompting officials to caution parents to monitor children's online gaming, and talk to them about not releasing personal information to anyone.

7) Typhoon Trami made landfall in Osaka, Japan , on Sunday evening, killing two, and injuring at least 120 people. The cyclone, which was downgraded to a Category 1 storm, caused widespread damage, including cutting power to more than 750,000 homes, cancelled hundreds of flights, and halted train service in the area. Prior to its brush with Japan, the storm first hit the southern island of Okinawa, injuring 40 people.

8) Authorities are continuing their search for an Ohio woman, Mitzi-Sue Clements, 53, who went missing while hiking with her daughter in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The woman was last seen on Tuesday, in the Clingmans Dome area, near the North Carolina-Tennessee border, when her daughter, who had hiked a little ahead of her, turned around to go back to her mom, but could not find her. There are at least 30 state and local agencies, along with 125 volunteers, assisting the national park in the search for the missing woman.


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.