Emergency and Disaster Management (EDM) Week in Review: April 11, 2016
A weekly recap of handpicked emergency and disaster management news, along with analysis and interpretation from our team of experts.
Sea Ice & Sea Level
The American Meteorological Society recently published a report linking decreasing Arctic sea ice to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, and, ultimately, to a rise in global sea level. According to the report, as sea ice in the Arctic continues to decline in summer months, the end result is an overall warming trend involving Greenland.
The New England Journal of Medicine published a CDC review online Wednesday indicating that a casual relationship has been found between the Zika virus and a severe form of microcephaly and intracranial calcifications. In order to study the virus and its potential link to this birth defect, researchers used the same methods that were used to determine the effects of rubella on pregnancy and in identifying fetal alcohol syndrome. This prompted U.S. health officials to issue a statement noting that the Zika virus is "scarier" than first thought and that the impact of the virus on the U.S. could be greater than predicted. So far, there have been 346 confirmed cases of Zika in the continental U.S. but officials fear that hundreds of thousands of infections could appear in Puerto Rico. Health officials have advised that there are still many unanswered questions, many of which may take years to determine.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released a warning, urging Texas residents to remain vigilant and beware of possible scams and fraudulent schemes when engaging businesses for disaster-related recovery and repairs. FEMA also offered up tips and advice on how disaster-stricken residents can avoid becoming the victim of a scam.
EPA & Water
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that a Massachusetts company will pay fines for violating clean water laws. Advance Coatings Co. of Westminster, MA will pay penalties totaling $38,860 for an unauthorized discharge into the Nashua River.
FBI & Apple
New reports surfaced yesterday that the FBI paid hackers to unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. The FBI reportedly paid a one-time fee to hackers who exploited at least one previously unknown security flaw in order to unlock the phone. The U.S. government is now weighing whether to disclose the flaw or flaws to Apple.