Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Deadly Earthquake Strikes in Aegean Sea
EDM Friday Briefing: Deadly Earthquake Strikes in Aegean Sea

EDM Friday Briefing: Deadly Earthquake Strikes in Aegean Sea

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for October 30, 2020: A suspected terrorist attack in France prompts the nation to raise its security level to maximum; Hurricane Zeta leaves a large swath of damage and power outages in its wake; Greece and Turkey were rocked by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Friday that killed at least four people; California sees progress on wildfires as the death toll rises to 16 in the North Complex/Bear Fire; the NHC is eyeing another tropical wave for its likely development into a tropical depression as early as this weekend; the Home Depot in Canada experienced a computer glitch that caused a data breach when it sent hundreds of order confirmations via email to strangers; the Aviation Color Code has been raised to Yellow for the Korovin Volcano in Alaska; and some evacuated residents in Grand County were able to begin returning home on Thursday.

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1) A suspected terrorist attack Thursday at the Notre Dam Basilica in Nice, France, resulted in the deaths of at least three people. The attacker, allegedly a young Tunisian man who had a Quran and was wielding a knife, is in life-threatening condition after being wounded by police. The attack is the second to occur in two weeks and the third one in less than two months, and it prompted the national security level to be raised to maximum.

2) Hurricane Zeta left a wide swath of damage in its wake as it moved through the southern states, the Carolinas, and into Virginia and Delaware before moving out over the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Several people were killed during the storm, and millions were left without power in the storm's wake. High winds and torrential rainfall toppled trees and power lines, tore off roofs, and damaged homes and buildings. A statement issued Thursday evening by Georgia Power indicated that while power had been restored to many residents, others could face days of outages due to the widespread damage.

3) On Friday, a deadly 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck just to the north of Néon Karlovásion, off the Samos Island in Greece, collapsing buildings, killing at least four and leaving dozens injured. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake hit at a depth of about 6.2 miles, with its epicenter located about 7 miles to the northeast of Néon Karlovásion, in the Aegean Sea.  Moderate shaking was felt as far away as Istanbul, Turkey. Reports of shaking were also recorded in multiple other countries, including Bulgaria, Cyprus, Egypt, Libya and North Macedonia.

4) As the wildfire season continues in California, firefighters responded to 29 new fires on Wednesday, all of which were able to be quickly contained. A total of 5,600 firefighters are still actively working on 22 major fires burning across the state, and the Butte County Sheriff's Office confirmed another death related to the North Complex/Bear Fire, putting the total deaths related to that fire at 16. However, the majority of the evacuation orders have been lifted or downgraded to warnings for residents in Orange County as of Thursday. But fire officials urge residents across the state to remain vigilant, as a lack of significant rainfall keeps the fire risk high.

5) The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has forecast a 70 to 80% chance of development for a new system over the eastern Caribbean Sea. The tropical wave has become better organized, with increasing showers. The NHC forecasts that a tropical depression is likely to form this weekend or early next week. Although hurricane season officially ends on November 1, the tropics remain active, likely due to the development of La Niña. La Niña weakens the wind shear over the Caribbean Sea and the tropical Atlantic Basin, enabling storms to develop and rapidly intensify.

6) Home Depot has confirmed it experienced a data breach for its Canadian customers due to an order confirmation issue in its computer system. That computer glitch exposed the personal information of hundreds of people who ordered online, both for in-store pick-up and home delivery, including full names, addresses, emails, phone numbers, and partial credit card information. Customers were inundated with literally hundreds of confirmation emails for orders placed by other customers. One person said he had reportedly received at least 660 email confirmations, all for other people. The breach exposes individuals to the potential for fraud and phishing emails, along with order pick-up scams if identification credentials are not properly checked by store personnel.

7) The Korovin Volcano, a side vent to the main shield volcano, Atka, also known as a stratovolcano, has shown recent signs of activity, including earthquakes and sulphur dioxide degassing. At 5,030 feet, the Korovin volcano is the highest point on Atka Island. It is situated in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska and last erupted in 2007. Due to its recent activity, the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) raised the Aviation Color Code to Yellow and raised the Alert Level to Advisory.

8) Evacuated residents in parts of Grand County, Colorado who were affected by the East Troublesome Fire were permitted to return home beginning Thursday morning. Firefighters worked diligently to remove trees considered hazardous due to their potential to fall along roadways and to help ensure safety for evacuees and first responders. Officials cautioned residents that power had been cut to homes for a time, potentially creating food and home safety issues, and noted that residents should be certain to ensure they took adequate food supplies when returning home. The East Troublesome Fire began on October 14, has scorched 193,774 acres and is now about 32% contained.

 

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.