EDM Thursday Briefing: Tornadoes in Oklahoma, Dead Fish in Florida, Overpass Collapse in India
Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 31, 2016: Tornadoes touch down in Oklahoma, thousands of dead fish surface in Florida and the collapse of an overpass in India traps more than a hundred people.
- At least seven people were injured after tornadoes struck Oklahoma last night. Tornadoes touched down in the greater Tulsa area, while parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee all were under tornado watches until early today.
- Officials in Brevard County, FL decided not to declare a state of emergency after more than 65,000 pounds of dead fish surfaced on the Indian River Lagoon and Banana River. Experts believe that the presence of a brown algae bloom resulted in lowered oxygen levels in the water and caused the mass killing. Despite opting against declaring an emergency, officials did seek $200 million to help clean up the lagoon and river.
- An overpass collapsed in Kolkata, India, killing at least 10 people. It is feared that as many as 150 remain trapped under the piles of metal and cement. The overpass has reportedly been under construction since 2009 and construction has been delayed at least six times.
- The hackers responsible for the ransomware attack on Medstar are reportedly offering a "bulk discount" to unlock the files corrupted by the attack. MedStar, which operates 10 hospitals and other facilities in the Baltimore-Washington region, is the latest of a number of medical network and facilities in the U.S. to be hit by a significant cyber attack in recent months.
- The annual Nuclear Security Summit begins today in Washington, D.C. Representatives from more than 50 countries and organizations will attend the two-day conference. Talks will likely center on North Korea and ISIS as the world leaders aim to "strengthen the global nuclear security architecture."
- In Minnesota, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced that no charges will be filed against the two Minneapolis officers involved in the shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark last fall. According to Freeman, investigations revealed that Clark was uncuffed and reached for an officer's gun during the altercation, and the officers acted accordingly. Protestors began gathering yesterday at the scene where Clark was shot after the Freeman's announcement.
- A recent study revealed that early ultrasounds may not detect Zika virus in pregnant women and that it might not be until the 19th week of her pregnancy that signs of the birth defects first appear. Zika virus has not been proven to cause microcephaly in babies, but there is growing evidence to suggest just that.
- A recent report from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) revealed that Arctic sea ice levels reached a record low for the second consecutive year. Data showed that levels of Arctic sea ice this month were the lowest ever, which is prompting more concerns about rising sea level and other possible repercussions.