Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Texas Treats Burned Children from Guatemala Volcano

EDM Friday Briefing: Texas Treats Burned Children from Guatemala Volcano


Emergency and disaster management briefing for June 8, 2018: Rescue efforts to find victims of Sunday's volcanic eruption in Guatemala are halted, Dallas/Ft. Worth airport opens the first-of-its-kind emergency room on airport property, a new federal lawsuit filed in Florida sues 31 police officers over their response to the Pulse Nightclub shooting, Wyoming was struck by two EF3 tornadoes in less than a week, the U.S. State Department expands its health alert warning to include all of China, six children who suffered severe burns from volcanic ash are being treated in Texas, doctor's in India announced they have contained the deadly Nipah virus, and the first named storm of the 2018 Pacific Hurricane Season rapidly intensified to a Category 3 storm early Friday.

  1. Rescue efforts to find victims of Sunday's volcanic eruption in Guatemala have been halted, prompting some families to undertake the risky work themselves. Officials noted that it has been more than 72 hours since the eruption and climatic conditions and still-hot volcanic material was making it dangerous for workers to continue rescue efforts. The official death toll following the eruption of the Volcan del Fuego has risen to 109, with at least 200 other people being reported as still missing.  
  2. The Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport is the first airport in the world to open its own emergency room. The emergency room, which is located on the 27-acre property of the airport, opened on Friday, and doctors and nurses have already treated passengers onboard airplanes with medical emergencies--including one woman with chest pains--and airport workers suffering from heat exhaustion. Access to the airport emergency room from the terminal takes about one minute, and in addition to regular emergencies, the staff is fully trained for disaster scenarios, including plane crashes and disease outbreaks, such as Ebola
  3. A new federal lawsuit has been filed in a U.S. District Court in Florida that sues 31 police officers over their response to the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting massacre. The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that the Fourth Amendment rights of victims fleeing the nightclub were violated and that one off-duty police officer, Adam Gruler, abandoned his security post, which allowed the gunman to leave the club and return undeterred with his weapons. The lawsuit also names the City of Orlando as an additional defendant.  
  4. On Wednesday, a powerful EF3 tornado ripped through an area north of Laramie, Wyoming, causing some damage to a few homes. Damages were also reported to power poles, power lines, and fences, but the area was sparsely populated, and no injuries were reported. The tornado, the second EF3 to hit Wyoming in less than a week, was also very slow moving, allowing storm chasers to capture amazing footage of the creation and lifespan of the massive vortex.  
  5. The U.S. State Department has expanded its health alert warning for U.S. personnel in China following a series of mysterious acoustic incidents. The original alert was issued for Guangzhou after one person suffered a minor brain injury after complaining of an unexplained sonic phenomena, but the alert has now been expanded to include the entire country. An unspecified number of U.S. personnel were sent back to the United States on Wednesday for further medical testing.  
  6. Six children who suffered life-threatening burns during the volcanic eruption in Guatemala were flown by U.S. military transport to Galveston, Texas for treatment on Thursday. The children arrived early Thursday morning at Shriner's Hospitals for Children after an emergency medical "go-team"--consisting of pediatric burn nurses and physicians from the United States--was deployed to the area, and assessed and identified the six children who were likely to benefit from such intense health care. The physicians believe that the children, ages 1-16, suffered severe thermal burns from contact with hot ash, burns that cover more than 15 percent of their bodies.  
  7. According to reports, doctor's in India have allegedly contained the deadly brain damaging disease, Nipah. The disease has claimed the lives of 16 people, including a nurse and a soldier, in Kerala, India. The main carrier of the disease has not yet been identified, but of the 18 total confirmed cases diagnosed, two of the victims survived after they received treatment. The Nipah virus is contracted by consuming date palm sap and causes Encephalitis--inflammation of the brain--and possibly respiratory issues, which could cause difficulty breathing in those infected with the virus.  
  8. The first major storm of the 2018 Pacific Hurricane season has rapidly intensified into a Category 3 storm, about 500 miles south of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, with sustained winds of 120 mph. Although the storm poses no direct threat to land, impacts may be felt along the Mexican coastline including rip currents, increased surf, and rain bands. Weather officials are also watching another area of low pressure to the east, off the Mexican coast, that is likely to be the second named storm of the season sometime this weekend.  

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.