EDM Monday Briefing: Indonesian Volcano, Bangladesh Cyclone, EgyptAir Flight 804, Lake Mead, Antarctic Ice Shelf
Emergency and disaster management briefing for May 23, 2016: An Indonesian volcano erupts and kills at least seven people, a tropical cyclone sends a half-million fleeing in Bangladesh, authorities deploy a submarine in the search for EgyptAir Flight 804's black box, Lake Mead is currently at an all-time low, and the the Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica may be gone by the end of the decade.
- Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra province of Indonesia erupted on Saturday, killing at least seven people and leaving at least two others critically injured. Officials warned on Sunday that more eruptions could be forthcoming. Mount Sinabung had been dormant for four centuries before reviving in 2010, when it erupted and killed two people. A 2014 eruption also resulted in the death of at least 16 people.
- Tropical Cyclone Roanu hit coastal Bangladesh hard this weekend, flooding towns and villages, triggering landslides and killing at least 24 people. Officials estimated that at least 500,000 people evacuated their homes and sought cyclone shelters following multiple warnings. Bangladesh is especially vulnerable to cyclones due to its sea-level geography and location.
- Egypt President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said that no theory should be ruled out regarding the crash of EgyptAir Flight 804. The hunt for the plane's black box continues and authorities have now deployed a robot submarine in the search. Much is still unknown about the crash of Flight 804, and, as of yet, there have been no claims of responsibility from any militant group regarding the incident.
- The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced that the water level in Lake Mead is currently at an all-time low amid ongoing drought in the region. Lake Mead is a man-made reservoir on the Colorado River about 24 miles southeast of Las Vegas, NV that serves about 20 million" residents in Nevada, Arizona and California. The Colorado River Basin is in the midst of a 16-year drought -- the worst in its 100 years of recorded history.
- A recent study led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Ala Khazendar revealed that the Larsen B Ice Shelf may be gone before the end of this decade. NASA noted that the loss of the Larsen Ice Shelf is significant because ice shelves act as gatekeepers — without these shelves, glacial ice flows toward the ocean at a faster rate, increasing the rate of sea level rise globally.
- The United States Geological Survey (USGS) detected a swarm of small earthquakes under Mount Hood on May 15 and 16, 2016. The discovery comes just weeks after scientists detected a swarm of quakes beneath nearby Mount St. Helens. According to the USGS, the recent swarm under Mount Hood is typical for the region; the small tremors occurred on pre-existing regional faults and represent relatively little threat.
- The National Weather Service (NWS) reported that at least 27 tornadoes touched down across Texas, Kansas and South Dakota yesterday. Entering the week, 14 million in the U.S. are at risk as thunderstorms and severe storms threaten the Plains, Midwest and South. Extreme thunderstorms are possible today with high-winds, large hail and tornadoes possible across a huge area that ranges from Lake Superior to the Mexican border.
- A U.S. Secret Service agent shot a gun-wielding man near the White House on Friday. A man in his mid-20s reportedly walked up to a gate of the White House holding a silver-colored gun. The White House was briefly locked down as a precaution, but authorities said that there appeared to be no link to terrorism.
- The Islamic State claimed a suicide car bombing in Aden, Yemen that resulted in the death of at least 40 army recruits and injuries to at least 60 others. The attack hit the region as recruits lined up to enlist for military service, and comes following recent gains by Yemeni government forces on al Qaeda militants in southern Yemen towns over the last month.