Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Orlando Shooting, Earthquake, School Threatened, Food Recalls, Severe West Coast Weather

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Orlando Shooting, Earthquake, School Threatened, Food Recalls, Severe West Coast Weather

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Emergency and disaster management briefing January 11, 2017: Orlando shooting kills officer and results in massive manhunt for armed and dangerous suspect, a massive deep underwater earthquake shakes eastern areas of the Philippines, a Los Angeles college pays hacker ransom after cyber attack, Loyola High School cancels classes due to threat on social media, Napa flood control mitigation project successfully keeps water out of homes and businesses, allegedly tainted milk powder now responsible for 25 product recalls, severe weather impacts the West Coast stranding vehicles and closing roads.

  1. The manhunt continues for the alleged suspect, Markeith Loyd, in the deadly shooting of an Orlando police officer on Monday. Loyd opened fire after the officer attempted to confront him on Monday, killing her. The officer, identified as Master Sgt. Debra Clayton, who was also a first responder at the Pulse Nightclub deadly shooting in Orlando in June. An Orange County sheriff's deputy, Norman Lewis, also died in a motorcycle crash during a search for the suspect. Authorities warn that the alleged suspect, who also killed his pregnant girlfriend, Sade Dixon, is armed and very dangerous.
  2. A 7.3 magnitude earthquake occurred under the Celebes Sea on Tuesday caused tremors in to be felt in some of the eastern regions of the Philippines, including Sabah, Sandakan, and Tawau. The quake was centered south of the island nation, at a depth of about 380 miles. Local seismologists considered the depth too deep to create a tsunami or cause any damages.
  3. A college in Los Angeles has reportedly paid a ransom of $28,000 in bitcoins after experiencing a cyber hack on January 3. The hack disrupted email, online, and financial systems, and locked teachers and students out of their computers. Reports indicate that the Los Angeles Valley College chose to pay the ransom because it was the least expensive option available. The school allegedly used a cyber insurance policy to pay the ransom fee. The hack is believed to have been initiated by a multi-national group in Eastern Europe that is well-organized and well known by the U. S. government and law enforcement, but is a country with which the U. S. does not do business, allegedly making it difficult to prevent such hacks.
  4. Loyola High School in Los Angeles, California has cancelled classes and on-campus activities today, January 11, after being made aware of an anonymous threat on social media late Tuesday night. Prior to making the announcement on its website, the school consulted with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the decision was made as a precaution in order to protect students, faculty, and staff. This is the second threat against a Catholic school in the Los Angeles area in just three days. On Monday, classes at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California were cancelled due to a bomb threat sent via email.
  5. On Monday, the new Napa Valley flood control bypass near the Oxbow district weir was tested as weekend storms delivered torrential rains and sent a slew of water down the Napa River. The bypass, completed in 2015, was designed as part of the overall plan to keep Napa free of floodwaters and developed in conjunction with the Napa Creek project finished in 2012 by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. When it is that includes walking paths, lawns, and other features for residents and visitors to enjoy.
  6. More recalls have been added to the list of products possibly tainted by powdered milk products that might contain salmonella from supplier, Valley Milk Products. White Peppermint Twinkies, produced by Hostess, along with Publix's brand Almond Bark with Cocoa and Peppermint Bark Candy are among the new products being recalled due to milk powder that is potentially tainted with salmonella. A total of 25 products have been recalled as a result of the allegedly tainted milk powder, and both Hostess and Publix note that consumers can return the product to the purchase store for a refund or throw the product away.
  7. Heavy precipitation along the west coast has resulted in torrential rains resulting in flooding and mudslides in California and heavy snow that stranded vehicles along roadways in Oregon, according to the latest reports. Blizzard warnings are in effect in the mountain areas of California, and officials are asking travelers to avoid the area due to the current weather conditions. Washington State is reporting a number of road closures due to heavy snow, including Highway 50, which could reopen Wednesday.
  8. A Category 5 hurricane force wind gust was recorded at the Squaw Valley ski resort at its 8,700 foot peak of 173 mph on Monday, and sustained winds of 100 mph pummeled the area for over an hour. The storms also caused the giant Sequoia, the Pioneer Cabin Tree, in Calaveras Big Trees State Park near Lake Tahoe, to topple, splintering the trunk.  The tree had a diameter of 33 feet and was 150 feet tall. Over the last few days, several mudslides have been reported across California, including one in Contra Costa County early Wednesday morning which toppled power lines and stranded one vehicle. The FAA also reported that high winds and heavy rains caused flight delays of nearly three hours at San Francisco International Airport on Tuesday. Weather forecasters are cautioning residents in affected areas to stay alert to continued severe weather including heavy rains, flash flooding, strong winds, and heavy snowfalls.

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.