Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Two Major Quakes, Wildfire Arrests, Oakland Fire Developments

EDM Friday Briefing: Two Major Quakes, Wildfire Arrests, Oakland Fire Developments


Emergency and disaster management briefing for Friday, December 9, 2016

  1. A magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck approximately 100 miles off the Northern California coastline Thursday morning. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was around 6.2 miles deep. Some light shaking of buildings was felt in and near the coastal city of Eureka, California. No damage or injuries were reported from the quake which was not powerful enough for authorities to issue a tsunami warning. The earthquake is one of many recent temblors to occur along the so-called 'Ring of Fire' region that is prone to major quakes.
  2. A massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake occurred near Pacific Ocean nation of the Solomon Islands on Thursday prompting the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to issue a tsunami watch for Hawaii. The tsunami watch was lifted later Thursday. Moderate to heavy shaking and rattling of buildings was observed on the island of Makira, which was the closest to the huge quake's epicenter. Residents of the Solomon Islands stated that it was one of the longest and most powerful earthquakes in the region in recent history. Minutes after the major earthquake, an aftershock - magnitude 5.5 - was felt in the same area.
  3. Two juveniles were arrested for their part in the devastating wildfires in eastern Tennessee last week that left 14 people dead and damaged more than 2,000 buildings. The two minors were charged with aggravated arson, and officials stated that more arrests may be forthcoming. Prosecutors say that the two minors - who will likely be tried as adults - started a fire on Nov. 23 in the Chimney Tops area of Great Smoky Mountain National Park, according to a statement from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The arrested youths are from Tennessee but not residents of Sevier County where the Chimney Tops fire spread to and caused the most damage and casualties.
  4. Oakland safety officials revealed Thursday that it's been at least 30 years since a building code enforcement inspector has set foot inside the Ghost Ship warehouse where 36 people died in a fire, raising fresh questions about government oversight of the problem property. It also emerged Thursday that the city of Oakland had received numerous complaints over the decades because the site and its adjacent lot had become cluttered with old vehicles, pests and trash. The Dec.2 blaze broke out during a dance party, killing dozens who had no escape route from the dilapidated two-story warehouse.
  5. Pakistan is mourning the 47 victims of the worst air disaster the nation has seen in four years. Engine trouble is suspected in the crash of the ATR-42 airplane which was carrying a famous Pakistani rock star / Muslim evangelist. Officials believe that the aircraft suffered a failure in one of its two turboprop engines moments before the crash. Witnesses said they saw the plane flying extremely low for a few minutes before tilting downward and then bursting into flames upon crashing. Helicopters were transporting remains of the victims Thursday and Friday from the mountainous crash site to the capital city of Islamabad.
  6. A gunman in Georgia who allegedly killed two Georgia Southwestern State University police officers is dead after an extensive manhunt, officials said Thursday. Americus Police Chief Mark Scott said 32-year-old Minquell Kennedy Lembrick was found dead with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a residence. Lembrick was being sought for allegedly killing Officer Nicholas Ryan Smarr and Officer Jody Smith on Wednesday morning. Smarr died at the scene, while Smith passed away Thursday.
  7. A teenage driver was 'live streaming' on Facebook when she and her passenger were killed in a Pennsylvania car crash earlier this week. State police said Brooke Miranda Hughes, 18, initiated the broadcast while driving on an interstate in Eastern Pennsylvania. Moments later, a truck crashed into the back of Hughes' car, killing her and 19-year-old passenger Chaniya Morrison-Toomey. According to an initial police investigation, the car was traveling at a slow rate on the highway due to a flat tire.
  8. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported Thursday that its officers prevented two passengers from boarding planes while carrying loaded handguns at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The weapons were discovered in the passengers’ carry-on luggage as it passed through the X-ray machine. The TSA has seized 49 firearms in 2016 at the airport while the total in 2015 was 30. TSA Precheck airline passengers caught with a gun lose Precheck benefits for two years.

Glynn Cosker Glynn Cosker is the Managing Editor of EDM Digest. Glynn has more than 20 years of writing experience, and he’s the Managing Editor of EDM Digest's sister blog site: In Homeland Security. Born and raised in the U.K., he began his career in government and spent 12 years working in the Consular Section of the British Embassy in Washington – attaining the rank of Vice Consul in the late 1990s. Glynn and his family live in New England.