Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: New Orleans, San Francisco, Wildfire, Volcano, Severe Weather

EDM Monday Briefing: New Orleans, San Francisco, Wildfire, Volcano, Severe Weather


Emergency and disaster management briefing for November 28, 2016

  1. A mass shooting on Bourbon Street in New Orleans left one person dead and nine others injured. Police officials were not clear about what triggered the incident which erupted between two men in the early morning hours on Sunday. Officials indicated the men were not from New Orleans and of the 10 victims, none were the intended target.
  2.  Riders of San Francisco's light rail system were surprised at ticket machines with signs posted by MUNI operators that read "Metro Free" and "Out of Service" late Friday and all day Saturday. An apparent hack of the MUNI computer system is suspected since the screens in the terminal read "you hacked." The system hack was discovered on Friday, but by Sunday, all systems had returned to normal.
  3. The South Carolina Forestry Commission reported on Sunday that the Pinnacle Mountain fire, which started on November 9th, was caused by humans. The fire, which has now consumed more than 9,500 acres, cost over $3.3 million dollars to fight so far, and was only 50% contained as of Sunday. The fire prompted S. Carolina Governor, Nikki Hayley to declare a state of emergency on Wednesday for Pickens and Greenville Counties. Table Rock State Park and the Table Rock Trail System will remain closed until officials can complete a thorough damage assessment and ensure it is safe for visitors.
  4. A recent outbreak of the H5N8 virus, an avian flu, has been sweeping across northern Europe. On Saturday, 190,000 ducks on six farms in the Netherlands were destroyed to help contain the outbreak that has also impacted Denmark, Finland, Germany, Poland and Sweden. Officials discovered the disease in a village about 43 miles from Amsterdam, and outbreaks in India and the Middle East have also been reported, prompting some nations to issues requests that all poultry be kept indoors to prevent its further spread.
  5. A volcano, located approximately 40 miles south of Mexico City, erupted on Friday spewing a billowing cloud of dark, hot ash at least three miles into the air. In the first 24 hours of the Popocatépetl eruption, three explosions, 129 ash ruptures, and one small earthquake have been recorded. Civil authorities are cautioning residents and visitors to avoid the area, warning that hot ash is dangerous and can also cause potential breathing issues, especially for the elderly, children, and any individuals with pre-existing respiratory problems.
  6. On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu stated that most of the major wildfires raging across the region had been contained, although not extinguished, after forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes in the area of the occupied West Bank. Dry, windy conditions fueled the blazes that began over five days ago--some of which are suspected to have been started by arson--and caused millions of dollars in damages. On Sunday, over two dozen people have been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with the ongoing wildfires.
  7. A strong weather system developing in the central United States is predicted to impact a large area of the northern and central Plains with strong winds, snow, and heavy rain on Monday. Later in the day, that same system is expected to have a strong impact across Louisiana, southern Arkansas, and eastern Texas with severe thunderstorms likely being spawned across the cold front. Weather forecasters are not ruling out the possibility of an isolated tornado in conjunction with this late season system because all the conditions necessary for producing damaging winds, hail, and tornadoes will be present.
  8. In a rare condition known as thunderstorm asthma, six people have died and another five remain on life support, three of them in critical condition, in Melbourne, Australia, the nation's second-largest city. The wild thunderstorm struck the city last Monday, causing water-saturated ryegrass pollen grains to explode, dispersing tiny pollen particles that when inhaled, penetrated deep into lungs. Hospitals and emergency services were overwhelmed, treating at least 8,500 patients suffering from asthma attacks. The phenomena, though rare, has also occurred in Britain, Canada, Italy and the United States.

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.