EDM Friday Briefing: Drought in California, Induced Earthquakes, Wildfires in OK, AZ, CA
Emergency and disaster management briefing for April 8, 2016: California officials announce that water conservation measures are working to combat drought, researchers find a link between fracking and earthquakes, and wildfires continue to burn in three states.
- The ongoing drought in California is getting closer to coming to an end, as the state announced that water conservation measures put in place last year are paying dividends. Cumulative water savings from conservation measures amounted to 1.19 million acre-feet of water in the nine months from June 2015 to February 2016 -- enough water to supply roughly 15 percent of the state population (5.9 million people) for one year.
- Canadian researchers have determined that hydraulic fracturing (HF) is creating earthquakes. A recent study found that fracking is the cause of the hundreds of earthquakes that have been hit Western Canada since 2013.
- The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently released a report that revealed that up to 7 million U.S. residents have been impacted by human-induced seismicity. Human-induced quakes have increased in frequency in recent years due to activities like wastewater disposal, and oil and gas production from wells deep underground.
- A wildfire near the border of Arizona and California was about 40 percent contained as of last night. So far, the fire has burned at least 2,200 acres. The "Topock Fire" reportedly began as a brush fire in Arizona and then jumped the Colorado River and spread into California.
- A massive wildfire continues to burn Woodward County, Oklahoma. The fire reportedly began as four separate wildfires but merged into one and spans 57,440 acres (90 square miles). Officials said that the fire was about 20 percent contained as of last night.
- The annual Oregon Prepared! workshop is being held in Warm Springs, OR this week. The workshop will bring together more than 300 emergency managers and other members of the emergency management community to focus on the Cascade Subduction zone offshore and the imminent threat for a major quake in the state.
- A leak in the Keystone pipeline that was discovered earlier this week has spilled about 16,800 gallons of oil in South Dakota. TransCanada originally reported a spill of about 187 gallons of crude oil and shut down the pipeline but has since revised the number 16,800 gallons, or roughly 400 barrels.
- Greece continues to send migrants back to Turkey as part of the pact that Turkey and the European Union (EU) agreed upon in early in March. Under the EU-Turkey agreement, all refugees who find their way to Greece through irregular routes are to be returned to Turkey. The deportation is drawing widespread condemnation from human rights groups.
- Texas police are in the midst of a manhunt after the body of a freshman student was found in a campus creek Tuesday. Police are reportedly looking for a person of interest who was seen on surveillance wearing a backpack and walking a red bicycle. Police have offered a $15,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.