EDM Friday Briefing: Fort McMurray, Superbug, Louisiana Hate Crimes, Migrant Boats
Emergency and disaster management briefing for May 27, 2016: The Alberta government says that the wildfires are still burning out of control, researchers discover someone in the U.S. resistant to "last resort" antibiotics for the first time, Louisiana expands hate crime laws to include a group of first responders, and multiple deaths occur after another migrant boat capsizes off the coast of Libya.
- The Alberta government published an official update on the Fort McMurray wildfires, stating that fire conditions are high to extreme in northeastern Alberta and that the fires in Fort McMurray are still "out of control." There are currently 2,054 firefighters, 88 helicopters, 256 pieces of heavy equipment and 25 air tankers all working together to battle the wildfires.
- Researchers have, for the first time found a person in the U.S. carrying bacteria resistant to antibiotics of last resort. The discovery is reportedly making some top U.S. public health officials declare "the end of the road" for antibiotics. Colistin is the antibiotic of last resort, and researchers found an antibiotic-resistant strain in a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman last month.
- Louisiana just became the first state in the U.S. to expand its hate-crime laws to protect police. More specifically, the expansion now includes police, firefighters and emergency medical crews. With the passage of the new laws, prosecutors can now seek stronger penalties when first responders are intentionally targeted because of who they are, because of their profession.
- For the second straight day, there was a fatal capsizing of a migrant boat that was filled with refugees trying to reach Europe. A boat filled with migrants capsized yesterday off the coast of Libya, killing as many as 30 on board. Just a day earlier, at least five people died after a boat carrying more than 500 migrants capsized off the coast of Libya.
- Investigators detected emergency signal from EgyptAir Flight 804 wreckage yesterday, which they said will help narrow down the search radius considerably. Investigators have yet to locate the plane's black boxes, which are believed to be some 3,000 meters underwater. Locating the black boxes will allow authorities to determine what brought down the flight as it traveled from Paris to Cairo.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced changes to the U.S. flood insurance program this week, largely as a response issues with claims from Superstorm Sandy survivors. The changes will give FEMA more oversight over insurance companies that handle the claims through the flood insurance program, and will also improve transparency and communication in the appeals process.
- Cyber security experts recently tied three digital breaches on Asian banks to North Korea. An attack at a bank in the Philippines in October 2015, an attack on Tien Phong Bank in Vietnam in December 2015, and an attack on the central bank of Bangladesh combined to steal more than $81 million. Experts say this would be the first known case of a country using digital attacks for financial gain.
- Thousands of Indonesian residents near Mount Sinabung are suffering respiratory diseases after inhaling volcanic ash. Mount Sinabung in the North Sumatra province of Indonesia erupted on Saturday, killing at least seven people and leaving at least two others critically injured. The awareness of the health dangers from inhaling volcanic ash is still low in the community, officials said.