Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: 12th Annual ShakeOut Drill Is Set for Thursday
EDM Wednesday Briefing: 12th Annual ShakeOut Drill Is Set for Thursday

EDM Wednesday Briefing: 12th Annual ShakeOut Drill Is Set for Thursday

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for October 16, 2019: Two earthquakes rocked Northern California just hours apart; a fire at an oil refinery in Contra Costa County prompted shelter-in-place warnings; approximately 2.3 million pounds of seasoned beef used at Taco Bell restaurants across the country has been recalled for foreign matter contamination; a third person has died in the Legionnaires' outbreak in North Carolina; a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico may develop into a tropical or subtropical cyclone later this week; the Saddleridge Fire allegedly started below high-voltage transmission lines owned by Southern California Edison; Japanese officials warn that the impact from Typhoon Hagibis may have prolonged impact to hard hit areas and the nation's economy; the 12th annual ShakeOut Day drill takes place on Thursday and is meant to encourage earthquake preparedness.

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1. Two earthquakes rocked California this week, one on Monday night in the San Francisco Bay Area and the other on Tuesday midday, along the San Andreas fault line near Salinas. The first temblor was felt at around 10:33 p.m. on Monday. It registered a 4.5 magnitude, occurred at a depth of 8.7 miles and was centered near Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek. The second quake, a 4.7 magnitude, occurred at around 12:42 p.m. Tuesday and was centered near Tres Pinos at a depth of about 6.3 miles. There were no injuries reported as a result of either earthquake, although authorities are investigating whether a fire at an oil storage facility in San Francisco may have been ignited by the quake Monday night.

2) A fire at an oil storage facility very early on Tuesday in Crockett, California, sent hazardous particulates into the air and prompted county officials to issue a hazardous materials emergency. Officials warned residents in various locations in Contra Costa County to shelter-in-place with all windows and doors closed, using damp towels and tape to cover cracks. The hazardous fire occurred at the Nustar oil storage facility, was fought by 200 firefighters and initially involved two tanks, spreading to a third one. The blaze also prompted the shutdown of nearby Interstate 80 during rush hour.

3) A recall for seasoned beef products was issued by Kenosha Beef International, based in Columbus, Ohio, following an earlier recall issued by Taco Bell, due to foreign matter contamination -- more specifically, metal shavings. The product was produced for Taco Bell and was sent to five distribution centers; it was then shipped to Taco Bell restaurants nationwide. Taco Bell received a consumer complaint regarding a metal shaving in a menu item and immediately contacted affected restaurants across 21 states, issuing a recall for the 2.3 million pounds of allegedly tainted beef.

4) A third person has died in the Legionnaires' outbreak in North Carolina that may be linked to a hot tub display at a state fair. There have been 140 confirmed cases of the disease in 19 North Carolina counties, and "multiple states," although it is unclear what states beyond North and South Carolina have been affected. A hot tub display at the Mountain State Fair in Fletcher, North Carolina, is suspected by officials as the source of the outbreak, but that has not yet been confirmed.

5) A tropical disturbance over the Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico has about a 30 percent chance of cyclone formation over the next 48 hours, with a 50 percent chance of development over the next five days. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is monitoring the disturbance, which is currently producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms over southern Mexico. A tropical or subtropical cyclone could form over the western or central Gulf of Mexico later this week.

6) Fire officials said that the swift-moving Saddleridge Fire reportedly began beneath a high-voltage transmission tower. The tower, owned by Southern California Edison, was on a steep hillside that was covered in dry vegetation above Saddle Ridge Road. The Saddleridge Fire, which was rapidly intensified and spread by Santa Ana winds, began Thursday. It scorched 13.1 square miles, destroyed at least 20 structures and damaged dozens more.

7) A prolonged impact from Typhoon Hagibis is expected in some of the hardest-hit areas on Japan's main island of Honshu. The typhoon was one of the most destructive to hit the nation in decades, killing at least 55 people. Widespread damage to homes and infrastructure has disrupted lives and impacted the nation's economy. According to reports, embankments collapsed in 66 locations, affecting 47 rivers, and 120 train cars were damaged by flooding. Also, water and power are still disrupted to thousands, and the flooding and landslides have blocked roads and destroyed homes.

8) Thursday, October 17 is the 12th annual ShakeOut Day, a drill that encourages people across the country and the globe to be prepared for earthquakes. Sacramento is conducting a test of its emergency alert system, with the hopes that it will encourage residents to sign up for alerts and to participate in earthquake preparation, including a drill that teaches the "drop, cover, and hold on" technique. While the emergency alert system can be used to warn residents of earthquakes, it may also be used to warn of flooding, power outages and extreme weather conditions.

 

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.