Emergency and disaster management briefing for June 20, 2016: A searing heat wave hits Southern California and the Southwest, wildfires continue to burn in California and New Mexico, firefighters struggle to contain the fires due to the weather conditions, deadly landslides hit Indonesia, and a humanitarian crisis emerges due to citizens fleeing Fallujah.
- Extreme heat slammed Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico this weekend, as temperatures surpassed 100 degrees F in many locations and at least four people died in separate heat-related emergencies in Arizona. All three states are expected to see triple-digit temperatures through today, and some regions will continue to see temperatures as much as 20 degrees above average, according to the National Weather Service. Phoenix hit 118 degrees F, which broke a record set five decades earlier.
- The so-called Sherpa Fire continued to rage in in Santa Barbara County, California this weekend, growing to more than 7,800 acres. The fire was reportedly 45 percent contained as of last night and more than 2,000 firefighters have been assigned to fight it. A red flag warning is in effect in the county through Tuesday due to the current heat wave in the region.
- The Dog Head fire in New Mexico continued to burn this weekend and tripled in size to more than 17,600 acres. Fire officials reported that the fire was only 9 percent contained as of yesterday. Another fire in New Mexico burning near the Cibola National Forest expanded to more than 35,000 acres yesterday; officials reported that fire as 30 percent contained as of last night.
- Another wildfire in California in the desert near the Mexico border forced the evacuation of hundreds of people. California officials said that the fire began yesterday morning and quickly grew to 1.5 square miles in searing and relentless triple-digit temperatures.
- Landslides triggered by heavy rains hit Indonesia this weekend, resulting in at least 35 deaths. Officials at the Indonesian Disaster Management Agency specified that 31 people died in landslides and four others died in severe floods. Soldiers, police, and volunteers have started to search the region that includes 16 towns, as dozens remain missing.
- An estimated 30,000 people have fled Fallujah, Iraq in the past three days, which is creating a humanitarian disaster with Iraqi summer heat in full force. Humanitarian resources are being strained with thousands of the displaced suffering from hunger and trauma and now also stranded in the scorching summer heat --many without shelter. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said estimated that as many as 84,000 people have fled the region in just the past month.
- Belgian authorities reported that police investigations and raids prevented a terrorist attack that allegedly was going to target a group of soccer fans gathering to watch a televised Belgium-Ireland match. Belgian police charged three Belgians with attempting to commit terrorist murder and participation in the activities of a terrorist group and brought in at least 40 people in total for questioning.
- Ransomware is becoming a growing problem, and most notably is becoming increasingly prevalent in phishing email attacks, a U.S. tech security firm pointed out in a recent report. All told, 93 percent of all email phishing attacks that information security company PhishMe detected across the globe in March 2016 (the most recent month studied) involved the use ransomware, while the remaining 7 percent contained malware. The ransomware being sent to users via email is getting increasingly complex, too.
- The FDA is often too slow to order companies to recall tainted foods, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) said in a recent report, which is opening the door to unnecessary illnesses. The OIG took issue with the FDA's recall initiation process, saying that it was neither efficient nor effective, and, in turn, was leading to overall safety of the U.S. food supply.