EDM Friday Briefing: The Cost of Air Pollution, U.S. Wildfire Outlook, California Drought
Emergency and disaster management briefing for April 1, 2016: A study says that premature births linked to air pollution are costing billions, the NIFC estimates wildfire danger across the U.S. in the coming months, and the California drought continues on.
- Research from the NYU Langone Medical Center revealed that air pollution linked to premature births in the U.S. has already resulted in a cost of $4.33 billion. Researchers estimated the economic impact by analyzing both increased medical fees and a loss of productivity associated with pollution-linked premature births.
- The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) released its seasonal wildfire outlook, which includes predicted wildfire risk for different regions in the U.S. through June. Drought-stricken California notably is listed as having normal wildfire risk after a few relatively wet months in the state to start 2016.
- A new spring survey revealed that California's current snowpack sits at 97 percent of historical averages after a series of winter storms dumped feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada. Last year at this time, snowpack was at just 5 percent. Despite the positive developments, experts cautioned that the drought is still far from over in the state, and that additional conservation measures will need to be taken to truly escape the drought.
- A gunman opened fire at a Greyhound bus station in Richmond, VA yesterday. One Virginia state trooper is dead, and the suspect was fatally wounded after other troopers responded. The gunfire also injured two civilians, who were rushed to VCU Medical Center in Richmond.
- Authorities evacuated and shut down Peoria International Airport for three hours yesterday after finding what appeared to be a bomb in checked luggage. The bomb turned out to be a fake, and the owner of the luggage explained that she uses the fake bomb materials for safety training at abortion clinics.
- Both the U.S. and China called for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons yesterday. Representatives from more than 50 countries and organizations are currently attending the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., which aims to prevent nuclear terrorism. China also agreed to fully implement the sanctions imposed on North Korea by the U.N. Security Council.
- Rescuers continue to dig for survivors after a deadly highway overpass collapse in Kolkata, India. At least 24 people died in the collapse. Authorities said 80 people have been rescued thus far, but fear that others are still trapped. Police detained five building officials associated with the construction of the overpass.
- The big storm system that produced tornadoes in Oklahoma is still working itself east. Tornadoes touched down in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama yesterday. There are no reported injuries from this latest series of tornadoes, but downed trees and power outages have been reported.
- Severe weather is expected to move into the Southeast and up into Mid-Atlantic region today. Tornadoes are possible, along with high winds, hail and possible flash flooding. A tornado watch was still in place early this morning in parts of Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina.
The items that looked like dynamite on X-rays at the airport today are dog toys used to train people about dynamite pic.twitter.com/0KhuX6yyGa
— PCSO Illinois (@PCSO1) March 31, 2016
Severe weather threat continues over portions of the central and southern U.S through Thursday. pic.twitter.com/zUJjzDwnbi
— NWS (@NWS) March 30, 2016