Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Toddler Pulled from Earthquake Rubble in Turkey
EDM Monday Briefing: Toddler Pulled from Earthquake Rubble in Turkey

EDM Monday Briefing: Toddler Pulled from Earthquake Rubble in Turkey

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for November 2, 2020: Survivors were pulled from earthquake rubble on Monday in Turkey, including a 3-year-old girl; Super Typhoon Goni slammed into the Philippines as the most intense storm of 2020; the NHC says Hurricane Eta could be a major hurricane before it makes landfall in Nicaragua; PG&E may be fined $166 million for its failure to notify residents of PSPS in 2019; FEMA is cautioning residents impacted by natural disasters to be aware of fraud and scams amid recovery; strong winds downed trees and caused widespread power outages across the Great Lakes region over the weekend; President Trump has approved a 100% cost share for parts of Louisiana for debris removal following Hurricane Laura; and favorable weather conditions across the nation have helped inhibit wildfire growth.

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1) The death toll from Friday's earthquake in the Aegean Sea has now reached 87, after search and rescue teams discovered additional bodies amid the rubble in Izmir, Turkey — the city hardest hit by the quake. So far, 106 people have been pulled alive from the rubble, including a three-year-old girl rescued Monday. Her mother and two sisters had been rescued two days earlier. The earthquake injured nearly 1,000 people, the majority of whom lived in Turkey. It also triggered a small tsunami that drowned at least one person and was followed by hundreds of aftershocks.

2) The death toll has reach at least 16 in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Goni swept through the island nation over the weekend, making landfall with wind speeds of at least 140 mp and gusts of up to 174 mph. The storm was the strongest of the season, earning its place in history as one of the most intense typhoons ever to occur and reaching the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane just prior to its landfall in Catanduanes on Sunday. As the storm moved through the islands, it prompted volcanic mudflows from the Mayon volcano that inundated a village in Albay. It also caused the failure of a river dike, which led to widespread flooding that trapped 110 people who had to be rescued.

3) Eta became the 28th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which tied 2005 for the most storms on record. The storm is also the first-ever Hurricane Eta and only the second time that names in the Greek alphabet have been used in the Atlantic hurricane season. Eta is expected to intensify further — possibly even into a major hurricane — before making landfall in Nicaragua early Tuesday. Life-threatening tides and storm surge are forecast for the northeastern coast of the country, to the north of the storm's center.

4) Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) could be fined nearly $166 million for its failure to inform its customers of Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) before they occurred in 2019. In a brief submitted to the Public Utilities Commission by the Public Advocates Office, PG&E failed to inform the public or coordinate with local governments before implementing sweeping PSPS in October of 2019. According to reports, the company put lives at risk, including those of whom are medically vulnerable and rely on electricity for daily functions, such as dialysis patients, or those who use electric wheelchairs.

5) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is cautioning residents in areas hit by disasters, including hurricanes and wildfires, to be aware of fraud and scams. The impersonation of official disaster aid workers by unscrupulous individuals can be common following a disaster, and residents should be suspicious of anyone who asks for sensitive personal information. Official disaster aid workers will also never ask for money, charge for filling out aid paperwork, or promise disaster grants or other large sums of money. If fraud is suspected, residents are encouraged to call the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721.

6) A line of strong winds over the weekend toppled trees and downed power lines, causing widespread power outages across the Great Lakes region, including in Michigan and Ohio. The hardest-hit counties in Michigan include Midland, Gladwin and Isabella, where wind gusts of 39 mph were recorded early Sunday. In Ohio, nearly 30,000 people were without power on Sunday, and downed wires blocked roads for at least 24 hours as crews worked to repair the downed power lines.

7) President Trump has approved a 100% cost share for the majority of debris removal in one region in Louisiana following Hurricane Laura. The 100% coverage for debris removal covers a 30-day period which has yet to be determined, but it will have a major, positive impact on financial resources among the communities receiving the relief. Debris removal in Sulphur has already exceeded 500,000 cubic yards, while Westlake has removed 238,000 cubic yards, with at least another 60,000 cubic yards of debris still needing to be removed. The North Gulf Coast region has been hammered with hurricanes during the 2020 season, and debris removal is a major and costly component of the recovery effort.

8) Favorable weather conditions over the last several days are having a positive impact on wildfires across the country, including in Colorado, where snow melt and increased relative humidity helped inhibit growth of the state's major wildfires. According to CalFire, containment on wildfires across California has increased significantly, but a forecast high pressure system is bringing warm temperatures, along with dry and breezy conditions, through Thursday. In Colorado, firefighters are expecting winds to increase to 15-20 mph, as warmer and drier air returns to the state for several days, but no fire growth is expected.

 

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.