Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Hurricane Beryl Forms, Thai Cave Diver Dies

EDM Friday Briefing: Hurricane Beryl Forms, Thai Cave Diver Dies

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for July 6, 2018: Hurricane Beryl becomes the first hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season; a former Thai navy SEAL assisting with the rescue of the trapped soccer team in a Thailand cave has died; the County Fire north of Sacramento is only 30 percent contained and continues to grow; the Spring Creek Fire becomes the third largest wildfire in Colorado state history; California braces for a heat wave that prompts Red Flag Warnings for the Greater Los Angeles area; historic rainfall in Japan sparks flooding and landslides that force the evacuation of hundreds of thousands; a tour boat topples over amid high seas off Thailand's resort island of Phuket and kills at least 33; and California's governor declares a state of emergency for Siskiyou County for the rapidly expanding Klamathon Fire.

  1. The first hurricane of the 2018 season has formed in the Atlantic Ocean. Hurricane Beryl formed quickly -- it went from an area of interest to a hurricane in less than 24 hours. Forecasters indicate that the storm is small, but it is expected to intensify slightly throughout the day. As Hurricane Beryl moves closer to the Lesser Antilles later today and into the weekend, officials say it will encounter wind shear, causing it to weaken rapidly.
  2. A former Thai navy SEAL assisting in the rescue of 12 trapped boys and their soccer coach in a Thailand cave has died. Saman Kunan, 38, died while returning from the chamber where the boys are trapped; he ran out of oxygen and passed out. Kunan was part of a team of rescuers that was attempting to run an oxygen line to the chamber where the boys are trapped.
  3. The County Fire, which broke out north of Sacramento on Saturday, has scorched 88,000 acres and continues to grow amid a heat wave. Extremely high temperatures, low humidity, dry vegetation, gusty winds and difficult terrain have made fire containment challenging. At least 3,400 personnel, in conjunction with heavy ground equipment, air tankers and helicopters, have now brought the blaze to 30 percent containment. The wildfire is just one of three dozen major fires burning in the Western United States in a wildfire season that began early this year.
  4. The Spring Creek Fire has grown to nearly 103,500 acres and continues to threaten subdivisions and structures as fire weather remains unpredictable. Evacuations are still in effect. There is now a flash flood watch for the Spring Creek Fire, as the threat of thunderstorms moves into the area amid an unstable air mass. Nearly 1,450 personnel are working to contain the fire, which is now being managed as two separate incidents due to its size. The Spring Creek Fire is being closely coordinated between the two Incident Commanders (ICs) with updates being reported under a single ICS (Incident Command System) 209 summary form.
  5. California is bracing for soaring temperatures and extremely dangerous fire conditions as a massive dome of high pressure builds in from the east. With temperatures forecast into the triple digits, even along the beach, officials are cautioning residents to stay safe, use established cooling centers, and avoid the heat if possible. The high heat also increases fire dangers and the National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning for the Greater Los Angeles area due to extreme temperatures, low humidity, and gusty north winds.
  6. As historic rains continue to inundate Japan, hundreds of thousands of residents have been evacuated from their homes due to rising floodwaters and landslides. At least four people are dead and others remain missing as torrential rainfalls continue to pelt the area. One area, Shikoku, received 36 inches of rain in just 48 hours. The rainfall has prompted officials to urge the evacuation of another 1.5 million people, close bridges, and halt train service -- including a section of the bullet train -- as continued rainfall brings the threat of additional landslides and more flooding.
  7. A tour boat carrying 105 people near Phuket, Thailand, overturned in stormy weather and high seas Thursday, killing at least 33. Another 23 people are still missing. There were 93 tourists, one tour guide, and 11 crew members on board when the boat toppled amid 16-foot waves off the coast of Thailand's resort island of Phuket. At least 12 people who were injured received hospital treatment. The search for those who remain missing was called off late Friday by officials, but is set to resume Saturday morning.
  8. California governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Siskiyou County, due to a fast-moving wildfire that began Thursday afternoon amid high heat, winds and a lack of humidity. The Klamathon Fire spread rapidly, prompting evacuations and quickly consuming more than 5,000 acres. The wildfire also damaged or destroyed multiple structures, and continues to threaten homes, livestock, and critical infrastructure, including Interstate 5. Portions of this interstate highway are closed due to the wildfire.

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.