EDM Friday Briefing: North Korea Missile, U.S. Spring Climate Predictions, Nuclear Power Plant Leak
Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 18, 2016: North Korea fires another missile, the NOAA releases its Spring climate and flooding outlook, and officials in Florida assure residents that a nuclear power plant leak is not affecting drinking water.
- North Korea fired at least one ballistic missile into the sea off of its east coast in yet another move of defiance against recently imposed sanctions. Both the United Nations and the U.S. have imposed sanctions on North Korea in recent weeks due to the country's "illicit" nuclear and ballistic missile tests. The U.S. just imposed tighter sanctions earlier this week. Japan quickly condemned this latest missile test and is demanding that North Korea "exercise self-restraint."
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its yearly Spring climate outlook yesterday. There is an increased risk of flooding in the South and Southeast, and temperatures for the majority of the U.S. should be above average. Northern California drought conditions should improve, but drought could persist in southern California and new drought could also appear in Arizona and New Mexico.
- Florida Power and Light (FPL) officials assured residents of Miami-Dade County that the water is safe to drink in the wake of the reported leak of radioactive material into Biscayne Bay. Tritium, a radioactive element, was discovered in Biscayne Bay, but FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy said that FPL "is not contributing to anything that's negatively impacting the drinking water."
- Idaho's Joint Finance Appropriations Committee voted to increase funds for the fiscal year 2017 wildfire season. By a vote of 13-4, the committee approved $34.5 million in funding for the suppression of wildfires across the state in the coming year. The budget proposal now needs to pass through the state House and Senate to become a reality.
- European Union (EU) leaders plan to present a new refugee crisis agreement to Turkey today. Since the beginning of 2015, more than 1 million refugees have fled to EU territory. Additionally, Turkey is currently home for more than 2.7 million Syrian refugees. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, said that he is "cautiously optimistic" but "more cautious than optimistic," as the agreement must comply with both international and EU law, and all EU members must be in agreement.
- A recent report from NASA detailed how “dueling climate cycles” may bring a sea level increase in the near future. According to NASA, sea level fluctuation averaged about 6 inches from 1990 to 2000, which is an estimated five times higher than the global sea level rise during that time frame.
- President Barack Obama approved disaster relief funds for Delaware to help the state in its recovery from the severe snowstorm that hit the Mid-Atlantic region on January 22. The state had sought $2.5 million in federal relief funds, the majority of which would go toward rebuilding coastal infrastructure damaged in the storm.
- An American Airlines flight made an emergency landing last night after it was struck by lighting. American Airlines flight 4233, which was en route to New York's LaGuardia Airport from North Carolina's Raleigh-Durham International Airport, diverted to New York's JFK Airport and landed safely. There are no reports of injured passengers due to the strike.
- Jason Dalton, the man who allegedly killed six people on an hours-long shooting spree in Kalamazoo, MI on February 20 is suing the ride-sharing company Uber. Dalton was working as an Uber driver on the night of the shootings, and was reportedly giving passengers rides between shootings. He told investigators that the Uber app was controlling him on the night of the shootings.