EDM Monday Briefing: Oregon Standoff, Floods in Missouri and Illinois, Earthquake in India
Emergency and disaster management Monday Briefing for January 4, 2016: A rancher-rights protest in Oregon leads to an armed standoff, Missouri and Illinois try to recover from severe flooding, and a 6.7-magnitude earthquake strike eastern India.
- A group of armed militiamen occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon this weekend in protest of federal land use in the West. The occupation of the wildlife refuge occurred after a demonstration of about 300 people took place in nearby Burns, OR. The group, which is believed to total about a dozen people, have said that they have enough supplies to stay for years.
- Several law enforcement organizations are monitoring the situation but have not yet taken action. Police are asking residents to stay away from the refuge for their own safety, pending a resolution to the standoff. Many schools in the region will also be closed to start the week. The FBI is taking the lead in monitoring the situation, working with local and state law enforcement agencies to "bring a peaceful resolution to the situation."
- President Barack Obama declared state of emergency in Missouri this weekend to help the state recover from destruction caused by recent floods. Heavy rains have caused the worst floods since at least 1993 and there have been at least 15 fatalities in the state as a result of the extreme weather.
- More than a foot of rain fell in parts of Missouri and Illinois, resulting in record crests of the Mississippi River and other waterways. Emergency crews have been contending with flooded roadways, damaged wastewater treatment plants, and rare cold-weather flood conditions.
- Parts of southern Illinois are also battling floods like neighboring Missouri areas. A dozen Illinois counties were declared disaster area and at least nine Illinois residents died in the floods. Governor Bruce Rauner activated the Illinois National Guard to help with flood recovery efforts in the affected regions in the southern part of the state.
- At least six people are dead and at least a hundred injured after a 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck eastern India. The quake occurred in the Manipur state near the India-Myanmar border, a region that is considered to be one of the most seismically hazardous on the planet.
- Cleanup efforts continued in Texas, Tennessee and Alabama in the aftermath of Christmastime tornadoes that swept through various parts of the U.S. Midwest and Southeast. The series of tornadoes killed at least 14 in the South and resulted in at least 11 fatalities in Texas.
- According to preliminary data released by the National Weather Service, the state of Kanas had 124 confirmed tornadoes in 2015. This is a big jump from 41 confirmed tornadoes in 2014. Tennessee had an average number of tornadoes in 2015 -- 19 confirmed -- but the months in which they struck made the year unusual. Nine tornadoes struck Tennessee in July and seven struck the state in December -- both record numbers.