EDM Wednesday Briefing: Flint Charges, Ecuador Quakes, Mexico Fireworks Explosion
Emergency and disaster management briefing for December 21, 2016
- Two former emergency managers — Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose — were charged in Flint, MI with false pretenses, conspiracy to commit false pretenses, misconduct in office and willful neglect of duty in office - all in connection to the recent water crisis. Also charged on Tuesday were two former Flint workers, Daugherty Johnson Howard Croft, who are accused of false pretenses and conspiracy to commit false pretenses.The charges, announced Tuesday, put criminal investigators a step closer to a case against Gov. Rick Snyder (R) who has stated repeatedly that he believed his state's officials when they told him that Flint's water supply was safe.
- A 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador's Pacific coast on Monday, and the major quake was followed by at least 20 aftershocks. Two deaths, at least 15 injuries and heavy damage to homes and resort properties were reported. Earlier this year, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastated the same region - killing more than 660 people and displacing thousands more.
- At least nine people died and up to 70 others were seriously injured after an explosion at a popular fireworks market in Mexico. The Mexican Red Cross sent 25 ambulances with 50 paramedics to the scene at the open-air San Pablito Market in Tultepec, approximately 20 miles north of Mexico City. Fireworks exploded periodically following the initial blast, as smoke billowed skyward in thick black clouds. The same market was heavily damaged by similar fires in September 2005, when a series of explosions injured dozens of people.
- The man accused of setting off bombs in New York and New Jersey in September pleaded not guilty Tuesday to attempted murder in his first in-person court appearance. The bombings injured more than 30 people. Ahmad Khan Rahimi was injured by law enforcement officials in a shootout soon after the bombings and needed assistance as he shuffled into court. Rahimi is accused of detonating a pipe bomb in the New Jersey shore town of Seaside Park and a pressure cooker bomb in New York City on Sept. 17; he remains held in jail on $5.2 million bail.
- Five people drowned as torrential rain caused major flash flooding across the eastern coast of Spain earlier this week. The severe weather conditions also saw numerous people trapped in their vehicles - along with road closures and landslides across the 140-mile coastline in the province of Alicante. Murcia and Torrevieja are among the areas worst hit by the floods and hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes. Emergency services in Murcia alone reported that they'd rescued at least 350 people from their homes and cars.
- San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee picked a new top cop for the city on Tuesday, announcing that a Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief would get the job. William "Bill" Scott will take over as San Francisco's Police Chief "I know this process was not an easy one," stated Scott at a news conference at City Hall. Originally from Alabama, Scott has worked in Los Angeles since 1989 in various roles ranging from patrol to gangs, from Internal Affairs to operations.
- Mexico‘s Colima Volcano sent three eruptions in the space of a few hours earlier this week, throwing up ash and vapor more than a mile into the air. The biggest columns of ash reached 1.25 miles in height, while the smallest was just under a mile tall. Also referred to as the "Volcano of Fire," the 12,533-foot volcano is 430 miles west of Mexico City as is one of the most active and dangerous in North America. It has had more than 30 periods of eruptions since the late 16th century, including several measurable eruptions in the late 1990s.
- Earlier this week, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials began assisting some of the hundreds of people whose homes or workplaces were damaged or destroyed in last month's Sevier County, Tenn., fire disaster. FEMA stated that its officials are expected to remain on the scene at least through this week. President Obama declared Sevier County a federal disaster area last week to help residents cope with the damages caused by the 17,000 acre wildfire on Nov. 28. - meaning that uninsured or under-insured people who lost their homes can now apply for federal financial assistance.
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