EDM Wednesday Briefing: Super Typhoon Haima, San Francisco School Shooting, DC Metro
Emergency and disaster management briefing for October 19, 2016: The Philippines prepares for its second super typhoon in a week, a San Francisco high school shooting leaves four injured, the U.S. Air Force discloses a toxic wastewater leak, the FAA inks a deal to boost cybersecurity, police apprehend the suspect in a Fairbanks, AK officer shooting, the Aliso Canyon, CA natural gas storage facility is the scene of a rapidly advancing brush fire, a recent report draws attention to IoT vulnerability, and financial hardships plague the aging Washington, D.C. Metro.
- Tropical Storm Karen (Sarika) and Super Typhoon Haima (Lawin) are still churning in the Northwest Pacific as the Philippines brace for their second super typhoon in a week. Super Typhoon Haima, an intense category 4 equivalent storm, is set to make landfall in the nation Wednesday, across the northern portion of Luzon, located at the northern tip of the Philippines - the country's most populated island. Some portions of the area have already experienced about 16 inches of rain from Karen, so weather forecasters indicate that extensive damage from Haima is likely. Damages could include downed trees and major power outages due to extreme high winds and saturated grounds.
- On Tuesday, four students were shot in a parking lot that is shared by two San Francisco high schools, June Jordan School for Equity and City Arts and Technology High School. The suspects in the shooting, identified as four males in dark hoodies and jeans last observed fleeing the scene, were allegedly targeting the female student, Karwin Sui, according to a San Francisco Unified School District official. The female is said to have life-threatening upper torso injuries, while the other three male victims reportedly sustained non-life threatening injuries. The suspects remain on the loose.
- Water contaminated with a known chemical linked to at least one type of cancer, kidney cancer, entered the Colorado Springs sewer system from nearby Peterson Air Force Base at least a week ago. The leak was just discovered on Monday by the United States Air Force (USAF). The USAF identified the water contaminates as perfluorinated chemicals - part of the mix that creates the foam used to put out fuel fires on military airfields, and said that the spill consisted of 150,000 gallons of wastewater laced with the toxic chemical. The contaminated water was being held in a retention tank designed to recirculate water for firefighter training and leaked into the Colorado Springs Utilities wastewater treatment plant and then trickled into nearby Fountain Creek.
- As the world becomes more reliant on technology, and thus more connected via digital networks, vulnerabilities increase due to potential breaches in these interlinked systems. A growing concern regarding these vulnerabilities and their implications for civil aviation prompted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to contract with Astronautics Corp. to bolster cybersecurity. Astronautics Corp. will establish methods to help manufacturers, maintenance facilities, and carriers protect airplanes and systems from cyber threats.
- Police arrested a suspect in the shooting of police officer Sgt. Allen Brandt that occurred on Sunday in Fairbanks, AK. Acting Police Chief Brad Johnson said the arrest was largely due to community involvement and an investigation that led police to identify and arrest Anthony George Jenkins-Alexie, 29, of Anchorage on Tuesday morning. Sgt. Brandt suffered five gunshot wounds to his legs and chest, and is currently listed in stable condition at an Anchorage hospital.
- On Tuesday night, a brush fire - likely caused by a downed power line - erupted at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility located just above Porter Ranch in California. With winds at speeds of almost 40 mph pushing the fire downhill, the fire quickly spread to over 15 acres and into rugged and remote landscape difficult for fire engines to access. Aliso Canyon has recently been the scene of a major gas leak that required residents to evacuate their homes for nearly four months until the leak was contained.
- In an increasingly connected world, the Internet of Things (IoT) is an increasingly utilized catch phrase. Hackers like the IoT, too. A recent report from Internet security giant Symantec called attention to the IoT, but not to paint a rosy picture. Instead, Symantec pointed out how poor or nonexistent security on some IoT devices makes these devices easy targets for cyber attacks.
- Ongoing issues and financial difficulties with the Washington, D.C. Metro have prompted a number of proposals for the public transit system. On October 12, a proposed rate hike was one option put forth by the General Manager, Paul Wiedefeld. The most recent option suggested was to close 20 metro stations (seven each in Maryland and Virginia, and six in Washington, D.C.) during off-peak hours. Both have been deemed unpopular with D.C. lawmakers. The Metro's failing infrastructure, unreliability, and mandated SafeTrack repairs have financially crippled the public transit system and local municipalities seem unwilling to invest more funds into the system.
— ABC News (@ABC) October 19, 2016