Matt Mills


Emergency and disaster management briefing for December 19, 2016

  1. A large, [link url=”” title=”magnitude 7.9 earthquake”] struck off the coast of Papua New Guinea this weekend, leading to a series of tsunami warnings. The epicenter of quake, which struck 61 miles deep, was 29 miles east of Taron in the Pacific island nation. Officials warned that [link url=”” title=”waves reaching 3 to 9 feet high”] could possibly reach the coasts of Papua New Guinea. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
  2. Severe winter storms [link url=”″ title=”resulted in at least seven deaths”] nationwide this weekend. Two people died and dozens were injured when a gasoline truck slid off a Baltimore highway, and two people died in crashes in North Carolina due to icy roads. In the past week, [link url=”″ title=”at least 13 deaths”] are being attributed to car crashes associated with winter storms across the U.S.
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  4. Security experts say that Yahoo’s recent disclosure of being the victim of a massive data breach is yet another example of [link url=”″ title=”too little, too late”]. Last week, the company [link url=”” title=”announced a massive data breach”] that affected more than 1 billion accounts. The announcement comes just a few months after the company [link url=”” title=”announced the hacking of more than 500 million accounts”] in a separate attack. Stolen user data from the latest announced breach, which [link url=”” title=”occurred in August 2013″], may include names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords, and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.
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  6. President Barack Obama officially [link url=”” title=”declared a major disaster”] in Tennessee due to wildfires that devastated the state in late November and early December. The President’s action [link url=”” title=”makes federal funding available”] to individuals in Sevier County affected by the wildfires that burned from November 28 to December 9, 2016. [link url=”” title=”FEMA assistance teams”] will be in Sevier County this week.
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  8. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards [link url=”” title=”declared a public health emergency”] in the town of St. Joseph after the discovery of contaminated water. Testing reportedly [link url=”” title=”showed elevated levels of lead”] in at least two locations and also discovered possible elevated levels of copper in two other locations.
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  10. The Texas town of Corpus Christi [link url=”” title=”lifted its citywide water system ban”] yesterday. A ban was in place for about four days due to a [link url=”” title=”chemical contamination emergency”] after city officials discovered that a chemical tank containing an asphalt emulsifying agent leaked into water lines in the industrial district. Water service is now fully restored.
  11. [link url=”” title=”A toddler died”] in an apparent road rage incident in Arkansas on Saturday. A Little Rock Police Department spokesman reported that an agitated driver allegedly opened fire into a car containing a grandmother and her grandson [link url=”” title=”because the woman was not driving fast enough”]. The toddler died after being shot; a manhunt is still underway in Little Rock.
  12. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [link url=”″ title=”issued a travel advisory”] last week that warned pregnant women to avoid traveling to Brownsville, TX. The advisory came due to the risk of contracting Zika in Brownsville. Five people living in the Brownsville area reportedly [link url=”″ title=”contracted Zika through local mosquitoes”], which ultimately led to the travel advisory.
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Emergency and disaster management briefing for November 4, 2016: Kentucky wildfires rage out of control; scientists make an important discovery about the 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak; the parent treaty for the Paris Climate Change Agreement goes into effect today; Alabama officials declare drought emergencies in 18 more counties; the suspect in two police killings in Iowa is arrested and charged; another earthquake shakes central Italy; and November is Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience (CISR) Month.