EDM Wednesday Briefing: TS Earl, Phoenix Rains, San Diego, CA Fires, N. Korea, India Bridge Collapse
Emergency and disaster management briefing for August 3, 2016: Tropical Storm Earl threatens Belize, Mexico, a 1/100 year rain event occurs in Phoenix, the CDC issues a travel warning for the Miami area, charges are brought against a suspected San Diego police shooter, officials discover the source of the Soberanes Fire, a Napa Valley fire erupts, the DOE wants affordable electric vehicles, North Korea launches missiles, Brava experiences an earthquake, and a bridge collapses in India.
- Tropical Storm Earl is threatening Belize, Mexico, and Honduras with heavy rains, flooding and high winds. Tropical storm warnings have been issued by all the countries likely to be affected by the storm, and Mexico issued a hurricane watch for sections of its coastline. Situated 395 miles east of Belize City, Belize on Tuesday evening, the storm was moving westerly at 16 mph and had sustained top wind speeds of 60 mph.
- More than 2-1/2 inches of rain fell on the city of Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday afternoon, during a monsoon rain that also affected the surrounding valley. The heavy rainfall resulted in flash flooding that impacted roadways and interstates, making the Tuesday evening commute a dangerous prospect for many people. Fire crews responded to multiple calls for water rescues, and had to assist individuals stuck in vehicles in floodwaters on roadways. Due to the short time frame and amount of rain that fell, the storm is being referred to as a 1-in-100 year event by the National Weather Service.
- The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has issued an unprecedented warning in the United States, warning travelers to avoid a specific neighborhood in Miami to avoid catching the Zika virus. The warning is being called historic in that the CDC has never before issued a warning for travel to a specific U.S. neighborhood due to the threat of catching an infectious disease in the region.
- Jesse Michael Gomez is being charged with murder and attempted murder in the shooting of San Diego police officers, "J.D" DeGuzman and Wade Irwin. Gomez pled not guilty to the charges and prosecutors are meeting to determine if they want to pursue the death penalty, which is an option based on the charges. DeGuzman was shot four times point blank, leading to his death, while Irwin, who was shot in the throat and is still in the hospital, is expected to make a full recovery.
- Fire officials have determined that the cause of the Soberanes Fire in California was an illegal, unattended campfire off the Soberanes Canyon Trail. The fire is now considered the largest and most destructive wildfire for the 2016 season, burning more than 44,300 acres, destroying 57 homes, and causing the death of bulldozer operator Robert Oliver Reagan III. Currently, the fire is only 25% contained, and fire officials estimate that the fire could expand to 165,000 acres in a worst-case scenario.
- Another fire erupted in Northern California, just east of Lake Berryessa, in Yolo County, and has rapidly expanded into 1,700 acres according to Cal Fire officials. Mandatory evacuations began in Canyon Creek Resort and Golden Bear Estates, situated close to the fire that officials are now calling the Cold fire. Multiple agencies are battling the fire with approximately 500 fire personnel, and the blaze, which began at about 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, is zero percent contained
- The Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is seeking to make electric vehicles more affordable for American families. The EV Everywhere program has been tasked with the challenge of making plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) as affordable and accessible as gas-powered vehicles by 2022. Benefits of clean energy include less air pollution and reduce emissions, and improved technology is making all of this more affordable and accessible.
- North Korea is under fire again for launching two ballistic missiles, one that exploded just after launch, and one of which has landed close to or within Japanese-controlled waters, escalating already high tensions in the area. Seen as a serious threat by the Japanese Prime MinisterShinzo Abe, Japan is keeping its self-defense force on alert for additional missile launches. A previous launch on July 19th included three ballistic missiles that traveled approximately 300-360 miles and landed in the sea.
- Concerns are growing over the crimes and safety issues associated with users playing the Pokémon Go! interactive game. Police departments and officials in cities across the United States are issuing warnings to players, urging them to be aware of their surroundings at all times, and to use good judgement when playing the game in order to remain safe.
- A minor earthquake registering 3.9, shook the smallest inhabited island on earth, Brava, in Cape Verde, off the coast of Africa. The earthquake prompted concerns that a volcanic eruption may be more likely nearby, so local authorities began evacuations of several villages on the island. The U.S. State Department has issued a security statement for U.S. citizens living on, or traveling to Brava, or surrounding islands, indicating that news outlets should be monitored and extra food and water should be maintained in homes in Brava.
- A bridge collapse in India has resulted in almost a dozen people missing, most of them who were passengers on two state transportation buses. The bridge - the oldest of the two spanning the Savitri River that connects Mumbai and Goa, was built in British-era colonial times and was under strong pressure from the swollen river, which is being blamed for the collapse. Recent heavy rains caused severe flooding across India, affecting nearly 7.78 million people and resulting in the deaths of 163 people.
Rainfall of 2" inches in 1-hr has a return interval of 1% or 1-in-100 years for central Phoenix. #azwx
— NWS Phoenix (@NWSPhoenix) August 3, 2016
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) August 3, 2016