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Emergency and disaster management briefing for April 1, 2019: A wildfire rages in New Jersey's Pinelands amid windy and dry conditions; officials say that the emergency declaration in Rockland County, New York is having a positive impact on the vaccination rate to help contain the county's measles outbreak; a lockdown was initiated when two people were stabbed at the University of Hartford; the CDC says the multi-state salmonella outbreak is likely linked to pet hedgehogs; firefighters rescued nearly two dozen residents from a massive apartment fire near Milwaukee, Wisconsin; another plant explosion in China leaves at least seven people dead and five people injured; a deadly thunderstorm killed at least 25 people when it ripped through southern Nepal; and a cargo ship was hijacked by the migrants it was sent to rescue in the Mediterranean Sea.
1) A forest fire that ignited on Saturday in New Jersey spread quickly amid high winds, low relative humidity and dry conditions. The blaze, which is burning in state land known as New Jersey's Pine Barrens -- a forested area of coastal plains -- has burned at least 10,000 acres and is still growing. The fire, which reportedly began in the Penn State Forest area in Woodland Township, was only 75 percent contained as of Sunday evening, forced the closure of Route 72 and had visible smoke plumes up to 50 miles away.
11,638 acre wildfire in the pinelands over the weekend. No injuries or homes destroyed. Congrats the the New Jersey Forest Fire Service for their amazing work! Remember the phrase "how do you want your smoke?" Under controlled conditions or during an unpredictable wildfire? https://t.co/Olrrq795GH
— North Atl Fire Sci (@NorthAtlFireSci) April 1, 2019
2) According to county officials, the emergency declaration issued by Rockland County, New York that banned unvaccinated minors from public places has had an effect, as initial numbers indicated that at least 500 people have been vaccinated against the measles since Tuesday. Since October, 157 measles cases have been reported in the county, with 128 (83.7 percent) of those cases recorded as individuals under the age of 18. However, public health officials stated that a county-run vaccination clinic on Wednesday drew only about 30 people, with the majority of those being vaccinated in the county receiving them from doctors and pediatricians.
"We're gaining compliance by the fact that we're telling law-abiding citizens, law-abiding people in Rockland, that it is the law to go forward and get your children immunized,"... https://t.co/7Hl0Cz3gLF
— OR4HealthChoice (@OregonVacTruth) March 30, 2019
3) Hartford Police were called to the campus of the University of Hartford early Sunday afternoon for reports of a stabbing. The University was placed on lockdown and upon arrival, officers discovered two male victims with stab wounds. One victim was listed in critical condition with four stab wounds to his back and one to the chest, while the other victim received one puncture wound to his chest and one to the back, and was listed in stable condition. Police were able to apprehend the suspect without incident, and the lockdown at the university was then lifted.
— DAN CORCORAN (@DanCorcoranTV) March 31, 2019
4) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that a salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 17 people across 11 states, is likely linked to pet hedgehogs. According to the CDC, nearly everyone who has been sickened -- 87 percent -- had contact with a hedgehog prior to becoming ill. The CDC notes that hedgehogs may appear healthy and clean, but can carry salmonella germs in their droppings, which is easily spread to their bodies. Anyone who touches, snuggles, or kisses them or comes in contact with their habitat could become infected.
— AJC (@ajc) April 1, 2019
5) Firefighters were called to the scene of a rapidly spreading fire at an apartment complex in Wisconsin early Saturday morning. According to fire officials, the blaze -- which was quickly spreading through the White Oaks Apartments -- a 62-unit building in Bayside, north of Milwaukee -- likely began on an upper floor. Firefighters rescued more than a dozen people from the massive fire, and several people with minor injuries received medical treatment, but there were no reported deaths.
“North Shore Fire Chief Robert Whitaker said there were no sprinklers, except in the underground garage. And investigators are working to determine whether fire alarms in the hallways may have malfunctioned.”https://t.co/7QH2mgOmHE
— Wisconsin State Fire Inspectors Association (@WSFIA) March 31, 2019
6) Seven people are dead and five people are injured -- one severely -- following an explosion at a plant in China's Jiangsu province on Sunday -- the second deadly blast in the province this month. Local government officials said the blast originated from a container of scrap metal that exploded, which then started a fire in the factory. The explosion comes just days after Beijing announced it was launching a month-long industrial safety inspection campaign into hazardous chemicals, fire safety, mines and transportation.
China plant explosion kills seven. This is the second explosion in less than a month. The country's officials have begun a month-long inspection into recurring accidents. #China #Explosion #Asiaville pic.twitter.com/vfpHqi5RIr
— Asiaville (@AsiavilleNews) April 1, 2019
7) A severe thunderstorm that swept through parts of southern Nepal late Sunday has left at least 25 people dead and hundreds injured, and rescuers were still trying to reach many of those who were affected. The storm swept through Nepal's Bara district, which is about 39 miles south of Kathmandu on the Indian border. The deadly storm produced strong winds and torrential rainfall, which uprooted trees and knocked down power and telephone lines, many of which crushed people to death when they fell.
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) April 1, 2019
8) A cargo ship was asked to divert and pick up nearly 100 migrants who were in distress in the Mediterranean Sea on Wednesday. The rescue took an ominous turn when the migrants realized the ship was headed to Libya -- where they had just left -- and they revolted, gaining control of the ship and forcing it to head for Europe. The hijacking of the El Hiblu 1 was brought under control after Maltese Special Forces boarded the ship on Thursday and arrested five of the migrants, then escorted it to port.
Merchant ship captains might become reluctant to save drowning migrants during the crossing from North Africa to Europe following this week’s temporary hijacking of a cargo ship.https://t.co/XgDJn1tiBz
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) March 30, 2019