Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: More Hawaii Evacuations

EDM Monday Briefing: More Hawaii Evacuations


Emergency and disaster management briefing for May 14, 2018: More people were evacuated on the Big Island of Hawaii following the opening of new lava-sprouting fissures this weekend, President Trump approved a federal disaster declaration for Hawaii's Big Island following the Mount Kilauea eruption, a sheriff's deputy was shot in Sonoma while responding to a call about an employee acting strangely, the severe weather threat continues after significant damage occurred across Pennsylvania over the weekend, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater sent an active threat alert by mistake to its campus on Sunday, Japan's Mount Shinmoedake erupts on Monday for the third time this year, suicide bombers attack three churches and a police headquarters in Indonesia, and the WHO is given permission to use an experimental Ebola vaccination in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  1. New fissures have opened on the Big Island of Hawaii, sparking a new round of evacuations as the situation with the Kilauea volcano remains highly unpredictable and is getting more dangerous. There are few roads left open for evacuation, and some residents in the southeast corner of the island may need to be rescued by the National Guard, which is prepared to do so, should Kilauea cut off their escape routes. All of the parks in the area have been ordered closed as lava has moved across 17 acres and destroyed at least 37 structures, 27 of which were homes. 
  2. After receiving a request for federal assistance from Hawaii's governor, which was signed last Wednesday, President Trump approved the request and declared a disaster for the Big Island of Hawaii after volcanic eruptions have continued to destroy homes and structures across the southeast corner of the island. The declaration provides federal funds that will assist state and local governments and aid in the recovery of affected areas, including the restoration of infrastructure services such as water, power, roads, and schools. Brock Long, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has named deputy Federal Coordinating Officer Willie Nunn as FEMAs coordinator for the state's relief effort.  
  3. A sheriff's deputy in Sonoma, California was shot and wounded on Sunday while responding to a disturbance call at a car wash in Northern California. Two deputies responded to a call from the car wash manager who stated that one of his employees refused to go home and was acting strange. When the deputies arrived, the employee fired at them, striking one deputy, and reportedly, at least one deputy returned fire, but did not strike the employee, who was then arrested.  
  4. Severe weather over the weekend from Texas to the Mid-Atlantic states caused widespread damage in several states including Pennsylvania and Texas. High winds of over 60 mph uprooted trees and damaged some buildings in Pennsylvania, and Texas saw baseball sized hail that covered the ground across a large portion of its panhandle. The severe weather is expected to continue through Monday, affecting states from West Virginia to New Jersey, where damaging winds, hail, and heavy rains likely to produce flash flooding are the biggest threats. 
  5. Students at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater received a scare on Sunday when they were sent an alert about an active threat that urged everyone on campus to "run, hide, fight" -- that was sent by mistake. The message was sent in error--there was no threat--at about 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, and a correction was issued approximately seven minutes later. The University's Police Services Chief Matt Kiederlen apologized for what was identified as a technical issue with the emergency alert system at the school.  
  6. The Shinmoedake volcano in southern Japan, located along the Ring of Fire, erupted again on Monday, shooting ash and grey smoke thousands of feet into the air. This is the third eruption, and the second major eruption of the volcano this year, with its first major eruption since 2011 occurring in March, and a second, lesser eruption in April. Access to the area has been restricted since the volcano's first eruption in March, and no damage was reported from Monday's eruption.  
  7. Suicide bombers targeted three churches in Indonesia on Sunday in a coordinated terrorist attack that killed 11 people. The attack was carried out by a family, which split up and detonated bombs strapped around their waist's at the three separate churches. Another family of three was killed when their homemade bombs exploded inside their home in Sidoarjo, near Surabaya, Indonesia's second largest city. Yet another attack was carried out by a family of suicide bombers at a police headquarters in Surabaya on Monday. The attack killed four of the five suicide-bombing family members, and wounded six civilians and four officers.  
  8. The World Health Organization (WHO) was just granted permission by officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo to use an experimental Ebola vaccine in the country. Officials at WHO stated that the vaccinations could begin as early as next Monday. The vaccination, although effective in human trials, is still considered experimental because it is not yet licensed and use of the vaccine includes logistical challenges due to the need to keep the vaccine at temperatures between -60 to -80 degrees Celsius (-76 to -112 degrees Fahrenheit) in order for it to remain viable. Congo has reported its number of probable or confirmed cases of Ebola at 39, which includes 19 deaths.  

Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.