EDM Friday Briefing: Earthquake Shakes Japan, Officer Shot in Texas, Drought Creates Energy Crisis in Venezuela
Emergency and disaster management briefing for April 15, 2016: Nine die in a Japan earthquake, a police officer is "ambushed" in Texas, and Venezuela is waiting for rain as it suffers through an energy crisis tied to drought.
- A magnitude 6.2 earthquake shook southwestern Japan's Kyushu island yesterday, leaving at least nine dead and more than 800 injured. The quake also forced the evacuation of more than 44,000 people. Many buildings suffered damage but officials reported no problems at nuclear power plants.
- A Texas deputy was shot four times during a traffic stop yesterday in what is being called an "ambush" by authorities. A gunman reportedly approached the officer from behind and fired six shots. The deputy is being treated for multiple gunshot wounds and remains in critical condition.
- Venezuela is waiting for rain as it suffers through one of the worst droughts in its history. The drought is creating an energy crisis in the nation. Venezuela relies heavily on hydropower to create electricity, and the drought is drying up its waterways and making electricity generation more difficult. Venezuela's Guri dam, one of the world's largest dams, is falling to critical depths.
- The energy crisis is forcing the Venezuelan government to take drastic measures. The government declared every Friday in April and May a holiday to create a four-day work week in an effort to save electricity, President Nicolas Maduro has asked women to stop using hair dryers, and now President Maduro announced a time change that will also work to save electricity.
- Tech giant Microsoft is suing the U.S. government over data requests. In this latest clash between the federal government and the technology industry, Microsoft is suing for the right to tell its customers when a federal agency is looking at their emails.
- Seattle is piloting a jobs program as part of its ongoing efforts to deal with the growing problem of homelessness in the city. Titled "Jobs Connect," the program will work to help more than 1,000 people in need to find short-term, full-time jobs in its first year.
- Michigan's House and Senate passed a resolution this week that extends emergency declaration for Flint and its ongoing water crisis. The new agreement officially extends the state of emergency until August 14, 2016, which now aligns with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) timeline.
- This week, President Barack Obama announced the list of appointees who will make up the new Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. The goal of the commission is to identify the steps that the U.S. must take to ensure cyber security in an increasingly digital world.
- A recent study examined computer science programs at top American universities and discovered that cyber security is far from a priority at these institutions. According to the study, none of the top ten 10 computer science programs in the U.S. even require a single cybersecurity course to graduate. The study examined computer science programs at more than 120 U.S. universities.
- State and local officials met in Midland County, MI this week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the statewide radio system. The radio system is one of the largest public safety communications system in the country. The system utilizes more than 245 radio towers and more than 74,500 radios, serves 1,500 local, state, federal, tribal and private public safety agencies, and spans almost 60,000 miles.