Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Tanzania Earthquake, Mercury Contamination, Oil Spill, Mosque Fire

EDM Monday Briefing: Tanzania Earthquake, Mercury Contamination, Oil Spill, Mosque Fire


Emergency and disaster management briefing for September 12, 2016: Tanzania experiences a strong earthquake, a Las Vegas school deals with mercury contamination, a school bus crash at Denver International Airport kills one, an oil spill in Louisiana impacts wildlife, a fire breaks out at the mosque where the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooter prayed, the security firm who employed the Pulse Nightclub shooter is fined, an off-campus college party shooting injures five students, and Tennessee authorities arrest a man responsible for placing an explosive device.

  1. A magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck northern Tanzania on Saturday, killing 13 people and injuring at least 203. Officials indicated that the quake destroyed approximately 270 homes, damaged infrastructure, including some hospitals, and collapsed buildings in the city of Bukoba, which has a population of about 70,000. The quake depth was about 6 miles and it struck at about 3:30 p.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), with shaking felt all the way into western Kenya.
  2. In an ongoing effort to clean up mercury found in a junior high school in Las Vegas last Wednesday, officials recovered nearly a quarter cup of the substance and have been evaluating area homes. Approximately 60 homes have undergone evaluation, with mercury levels in one home requiring its family to temporarily relocate. According to reports, parents indicated that information about the incident has been minimal, and at times conflicting, and they are uncertain who to trust or if the information they are being given is accurate. Officials are still working to clean up the mercury at the junior high; the school is closed today.
  3. On Sunday, a school bus veered off the road at Denver International Airport and struck a concrete pillar, killing one and injuring approximately 18 other passengers. Those injured were taken to area hospitals. According to an airport spokesperson, the driver had just picked up the Legacy High School football team, which included 28 players and four adults. Denver Health indicated that two patients were in critical condition, two in serious condition, and one in fair condition.
  4. In an update issued on Sunday, the Louisiana Coast Guard stated that wildlife impacted by the Bay Long oil spill appeared to be covered in oil. Efforts to collect the birds are underway. The spill occurred on September 5 as part of ongoing efforts to restore a barrier island after it was impacted from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The pipeline is owned by an affiliate of Hilcorp Energy, a company that is currently facing a lawsuit for allegedly destroying wetlands in the area during dredging operations.
  5. Fire broke out at the mosque once attended by the Orlando Pulse shooter, Omar Mateen, in Ft. Pierce, FL. Officials believe the fire was intentionally set, although no one was inside when the fire began. In June, Omar Mateen opened fire at the local Pulse nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and taking hostages before being killed by police after a standoff.
  6. The security company that employed Orlando Pulse shooter Omar Mateen, G4S Secure Solutions, has been fined for providing false information about psychological testing on more than 1,500 forms - forms that contained information to allow its employees to carry guns. A psychologist who no longer practices was listed on many of the psychological forms that covered a period of 10 years, including Mateen's form. Mateen was employed by the firm for approximately nine years, where he held positions such as guarding the St. Lucie County Courthouse by working the metal detector or checking in visitors at gated communities.
  7. At a party on Sunday at the Campus Village Apartments, near tSaginaw Valley State University in Michigan, five students were injured by shots that were fired into a crowd. Injured students were taken to a local area hospital with non-life threatening injuries and later released. According to Saginaw County Sheriff's deputies, approximately 1,000 people were in attendance at the party, where at least 16 shots were fired.
  8. Authorities in Tennessee arrested Mitchell Hunter Oakes on Sunday for allegedly placing an improvised explosive device in the vehicle of an employee at a Nashville area nursing home. Officials were able to safely detonate the device that Lt. Charles Warner of the Franklin police declared was "sophisticated" and created to inflict the "maximum amount of harm" possible. According to authorities, Oakes, a convicted felon, reportedly has extensive knowledge about making weapons and bombs.

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.