EDM Wednesday Briefing: Severe Weather, Deadly Pesticide, Volcanic Eruption, Plane Crash, Earthquake
Emergency and disaster management briefing for January 4, 2017: Severe weather in southeastern states responsible for 4 deaths, HAZMAT incident in Amarillo, Texas kills four children, body of child found under ice-frozen lake in Colorado during search for missing boy, earthquake swarm shakes in the new year in Brawley, California, lake effect snow warning could dump four feet of snow on New York counties east of Lake Ontario, volcanic eruption prompts highest alert for aviation after cloud ascends above 30,000 feet, four victims of a deadly plane crash in Arizona found through phone ping, Turkish authorities identify nightclub gunman in terror attack and arrest 20 others.
- Severe weather that moved through the southern states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia killed four people when a tree fell on their mobile home in Rehobeth, Alabama. At least two confirmed tornadoes touched down in Mississippi, and the storms knocked over 18-wheelers, impacted a Wal-Mart store, and severely damaged a row of chicken houses. Widespread power outages accompanied the storms and some areas received over eight inches of rain since Sunday, although only minor flooding is predicted.
- Four children died in Amarillo, Texas after inhaling deadly phosphine gas that was released from beneath their house. The mother, airlifted to University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas was listed in critical condition as of Tuesday, while the father and four other children whose identities are unknown, were listed in stable condition at nearby hospitals. Phosphine is created when the chemical aluminum phosphide is mixed with water, and once inhaled, the gas can cause the lungs to fill with fluid and cardiac arrest. Officials believe a pesticide used beneath the house was the cause. As a precaution, several first responders were also taken to the hospital as a result of the HAZMAT incident.
- The body of a child has been found under an ice-frozen pond in a Colorado park while crews searched for a 6-year-old boy that went missing from his home on New Year's Eve in Aurora, Colorado. The body has not been identified as the missing child, David Puckett, but the family has been informed of the find. Officials are treating the area around the pond and the pond as a crime scene until they have a clear picture of what actually occurred. Bloodhounds first alerted search crews after one dog showed an interest in the pond. A fire-rescue team sent divers into the pond and discovered the child's body.
- A swarm of more than 250 earthquakes impacted the city of Brawley, California since New Year's Eve, most of them located along the Brawley Seismic Zone. The Brawley Seismic Zone extends from the city and across the southern half of the Salton sea, ending near Bombay Beach, in an area that connects the Imperial and San Andreas Faults. Most of the small quakes were not strong enough to be felt, with the largest one being classified as a 3.9 magnitude. The swarm of small earthquakes along the Zone, based on its proximity to the San Andreas fault, approximately 30 miles away, and their small magnitudes, was not a major cause for alarm according to scientists.
- Meteorologists have issued a lake effect snow warning for several counties in New York sitting to the east of Lake Ontario. Jefferson, Lewis, and Oswego counties are under the warning which is in effect from 4:00 p.m. Wednesday to 5:00 p.m. Friday. Weather forecasters are indicating that the event will be rather long, and snowfall amounts could reach totals of 48 inches in some areas, including southern Jefferson county, western and northern Lewis county, and in extreme northern Oswego county, just along the Oswego/Jefferson county border.
- The Bogoslof (BOH-goh-slawf) volcano erupted briefly in Alaska on Tuesday evening. The volcano is located on a remote island that is part of the state's Aleutian chain, about 850 miles southwest of Anchorage, and lasted only a few minutes. However, monitoring equipment indicated that the blast may have sent an ash cloud at least 33,000 feet in the air, prompting the Alaska Volcano Observatory to issue its highest alert for aircraft. Several eruptions in recent days have also prompted aircraft alerts, however no flight issues occurred.
- Four people, two adults and two children, have died following a plane crash that occurred northeast of the Phoenix area late Monday. The Cessna 210 that crashed approximately 15 miles north of Payson, Arizona, was en route from Scottsdale, Arizona to Telluride, Colorado. The plane, which crashed in rugged and steep terrain, was located by the cell phone company by an official request to 'ping' the phone of one of the individuals on board the aircraft by local deputies. The Sheriff's Office, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.
- In the terrorist nightclub attack in Istanbul on New Year's Eve that killed 39 people, , although authorities have yet to release his name or nationality. At least 20 other alleged terrorists with suspected ties to ISIS have also been arrested, including 11 women. The arrests occurred at four different addresses in the province of Izmir, where numerous weapons and military hardware were also found. Boasting its ability to commit the first terror attack of the year, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, although their involvement has yet to be verified.
— Amanda Curran ☼ (@WSFA_Amanda) January 3, 2017
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) January 3, 2017
— ABC15 Arizona (@abc15) January 4, 2017