EDM Monday Briefing: Earthquakes Hit Japan and Ecuador, U.S. Worries About Zika Outbreak
Emergency and disaster management briefing for April 18, 2016: Rescuers are still digging for survivors after an earthquake in Ecuador, Japan gets hit with its second earthquake in less than a week, and a top U.S. official expresses concern of a Zika outbreak in the U.S.
- At least 272 are dead and at least 2,000 others were injured after an earthquake struck Ecuador Saturday night. The epicenter of the magnitude-7.8 quake was the seaside town of Pedernales on the Pacific coast, about 100 miles northwest of the capital Quito. Rescuers are still digging through rubble for survivors after the country's worst earthquake since 1979.
- A magnitude-7.3 earthquake shook southern Japan on Saturday, just two days after the region was hit with a 6.4-magnitude quake. The earthquakes killed at least 41, left more than 62,000 homes without electricity, and left at least 300,000 homes with no water. The U.S. is assisting search and recovery efforts.
- A top U.S. health said that a Zika outbreak in the U.S. is 'likely' and that multiple outbreaks could happen in different locations. While there are more than 350 confirmed Zika cases in the contiguous U.S., all are travel-related and there have yet to be any confirmed cases where someone was infected within U.S. borders. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that is likely to change soon.
- SecurityScorecard, a security firm that specializes in global threat intelligence and risk awareness, recently analyzed cyber security risk among 18 major industries in the U.S. and discovered that government organizations ranked dead last. The lowest performing government organizations reportedly had issues with three categories in particular: malware infections, network security, and software patching cadence.
- Nearly 700 residents who live in and around Porter Ranch, CA filed claims against the state of California, demanding $3.5 million each. The residents are accusing the governor and several regulatory agencies of negligence and are suing for the pain and loss they suffered following a massive natural gas leak that occurred in the region in October 2015 that wasn't plugged until February 2016.
- HEET (Home Energy Efficiency Team), a Massachusetts non-profit organization has put together an online resource with detailed city maps of natural gas leaks in the state. Some state resident have become alarmed learning of the many gas leaks in their cities. The HEET website also offers up an action manual with tips on how to reduce gas leaks.
- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro officially rolled back the time zone by 30 minutes in effort to save electricity across the country. A severe drought that the country is currently fighting through has sent the nation directly into an energy crisis. Venezuela relies heavily on hydropower to create electricity, and the current drought is lowering water levels and making electricity generation more difficult.
- A Russian fighter jet reportedly buzzed a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance plane flying over the Baltic Sea, getting as close as 50 feet. The Pentagon called the incident 'unsafe and unprofessional,' and Secretary of State John Kerry labeled Russia's action as 'reckless and provocative.' The incident is reportedly the latest in a string of dangerous encounters with Russian forces in the region in recent weeks.
- The U.S. and India reached a preliminary agreement that will sync the two countries' militaries and make it easier work together in disasters or other emergencies. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the two countries have "agreed in principle" on the logistical agreement, and it could be finalized in weeks.
- A study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revealed that there was a high rate of perinatal dolphin deaths in the Gulf of Mexico from 2010 to 2013, an occurrence often caused by chronic illnesses in mothers. The cause of the chronic illnesses, according to the NOAA, is likely exposure to oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.