Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Hurricane Matthew, Hoboken Train Investigation, Earthquake Warning

EDM Monday Briefing: Hurricane Matthew, Hoboken Train Investigation, Earthquake Warning


Emergency and disaster management briefing for October 3, 2016: Hurricane Matthew is now a strong Category 4 storm, the NTSB recovers a train data recorder in New Jersey, a vehicle chase ends in a police shooting and protests in south Los Angeles, a high number of temblors along the San Adreas fault prompt a warning, Thailand considers testing all pregnant women for Zika, a Townville, SC school shooting victim dies from injuries, the Loma fire in California's Santa Cruz Mountains is now more than 70 percent contained, and the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant oil leak reaches a discharge canal leading to the Hudson River.

  1. Jamaica, Haiti, and eastern Cuba are under hurricane warnings as powerful Category 4 Hurricane Matthew approaches from the south. The hurricane is currently located about 290 miles from Port-au-Prince Haiti, and is likely to impact Jamaica and Haiti late Monday into Tuesday. According to the National Hurricane Center, maximum sustained winds are 130 mph, with a central pressure of 943 millibars. The track is expected to continue up through the Bahamas, where a hurricane warning was issued late Sunday for the Southeastern Bahamas, with its impact to the United States still unknown except for the high surf and coastal flooding that is highly probable.
  2. Federal investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recovered one of the two data recorders from the commuter train crash that occurred in Hoboken, NJ on Thursday. The recovered black box was not operational at the time of the crash and the NTSB investigators are hoping the second recorder, still buried under debris from the terminal roof cave in will hold more information regarding the incident that occurred. The NTSB also noted that signals appeared to be in good working order and noted nothing irregular about the tracks approaching the station after completing a track walk.
  3. An officer-involved shooting has resulted in two nights of protests after police shot and killed an 18-year old in south Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon. The suspect was shot after police tried to pull over a vehicle they suspected was stolen. The driver refused to stop, and after a pursuit, two suspects fled from the vehicle, running in opposite directions. Carnell Snell Jr., the suspect identified by relatives, was shot near his home on 107th Street after a foot chase, while the driver of the vehicle eluded police.
  4. Officials in Southern California recorded 142 temblors along the San Andreas fault, under the Salton Sea, beginning last Monday that prompted the Governor's Office of Emergency Services to issue an alert for residents. The alert warned residents to remain vigilant of the possibility of a major earthquake. The quakes ranged in magnitude from 1.4 to 4.3, and the alert is expected to remain in place until at least Tuesday. Scientists with the USGS note that significant stress has built up along the southern most portion of the fault, with earthquakes generally occurring along the fault about every 300 years, but noted that the last one along this fault was in 1690.
  5. The health ministry in Thailand is conducting a study all pregnant women should undergo Zika testing after its first two confirmed microcephaly cases last week. Currently, officials only test in areas affected by Zika; the ministry has tested approximately 1,000 pregnant women. Since January, a total of 392 cases of Zika have been confirmed in Thailand, with 39 of them being pregnant women. Total cases recorded in Singapore are 393, with a total of 16 pregnant women confirmed infected.
  6. On Saturday, Jacob Hall, a 6-year old from Townville, South Carolina died from injuries sustained during a school shooting last Wednesday afternoon. Jesse Osborne, a 14-year old from the same town, has been charged with one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder after allegedly killing his father before going to the elementary school and opening fire on the playground where Jacob and other students played. Meghan Hollingsworth, a first grade teacher, and another 6-year old were also injured during the incident, but were treated and released the same day from AnMed Health Medical Center.
  7. The Loma fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains has now consumed more than 4,400 acres and destroyed 12 homes and 16 outbuilding structures although it is about 70 percent contained. The fire that has been burning since September 26, 2016 has displaced more than 600 people and is threatening approximately 81 additional structures. Total resources committed to fighting the fire include more than 1,300 fire personnel, 76 engines, 52 fire crews, 9 bulldozers, 4 helicopters, and 14 water tenders. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
  8. An oil spill at Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in Buchanan, NY owned by Entergy Corp. resulted from a machinery malfunction with a turbine cooling system. The oil leak occurred in a non-nuclear portion of the plant and leaked into a drainage canal that flows into the Hudson River. According to officials however, the oil is not radioactive and no oil has reached the river. Clean-up is being completed by a remediation team and Governor Cuomo credits a rapid response and coordinated efforts for quick containment of the spill.

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.