EDM Friday Briefing: Investigations in Brussels, Wildfires in Kansas and Oklahoma, Zika Report
Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 25, 2016: Authorities in Belgium seek additional suspects, wildfires burn at least 620 square miles in Oklahoma and Kansas, and a new Zika report outlines what we currently know about the virus.
- The search for at least one more suspect continued in Brussels yesterday in connection with bombings that killed 31 people and wounded at least 330 others. Officials are still seeking a third airport bombing suspect, who may be on the run.
- Authorities detained seven in raids around Belgium yesterday in relation to the bombings. No clear information is out yet about who was arrested in the raids or whether any of the key suspects were located. Belgium lowered its security alert level yesterday, dropping it one notch down from the highest level.
- Kansas Governor Sam Brownback declared a state of emergency due to wildfires burning across the state. At the time of the declaration, there were multiple wildfires in at least four counties in the state. High wind speeds contributed to the spreading fires Wednesday night into Thursday.
- As of last night, the wildfires had burned more than 620 square miles in Oklahoma and Kansas. Brownback said late Thursday that the fires were "largely contained except in Barber County." Barber County sustained the most fire damage throughout the week, and fires there were reported to be 15 percent contained as of last night.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) published a new situation report on Zika virus yesterday. According to the WHO, multiple studies have shown mounting evidence that Zika virus is not only likely a cause of microcephaly, but also of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), and other neurological disorders.
- Research from a new study places Zika virus in Brazil years before originally thought. The genetic study points to Zika being present in Brazil in 2013, two years before the spread of the virus was widely reported in May 2015.
- The FBI recently put out a public service announcement warning the public of dangers associated with hackers potentially targeting moving vehicles. The threat of car hacking is very real, the FBI warned, and drivers should take steps to remain protected.
- The United States Department of Labor (DOL) announced $15 million in aid to Flint to help the ailing city recover from its ongoing drinking water crisis. The funds will contribute to both humanitarian and recovery efforts in association with the contamination of the city water supply.