Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 4, 2016: North Korea puts the world on edge with a nuclear threat, the NSA director expresses concern of an attack on the U.S. power grid, and the number of reported Zika virus cases in the U.S. continues to grow.
- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made yet another move to increase tensions on the Korean peninsula, this time by [link url=”http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-nuclear-kim-idUSKCN0W52PP” title=”ordering his country to be ready to use nuclear weapons“] at any time. The leader made his thoughts be known through a report carried by the country’s official KCNA news agency. While North Korea has threatened nuclear war in the past, it is [link url=”http://www.cbsnews.com/news/report-north-korea-readying-nuclear-weapons/” title=”unclear exactly how far along its nuclear program actually is“] at this time.
- The director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Michael S. Rogers, said that [link url=”http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2500257,00.asp” title=”it is only a matter of when, not if,“] the U.S. will see a major attack on critical power infrastructure. In the wake of the massive and sophisticated cyber attack that [link url=”http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/01/us/politics/utilities-cautioned-about-potential-for-a-cyberattack-after-ukraines.html” title=”took down the power grid in Ukraine“] and left hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians in the dark, the U.S. needs to be on alert, Rogers said.
- Syria reported a [link url=”http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35717532″ title=”massive power outage across the country“] yesterday. While intermittent power failures are fairly common in the war-torn country right now, [link url=”http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35717532″ title=”nationwide blackouts are still relatively rare.“] The reason for the major blackout is currently unknown, but [link url=”http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/03/03/syria-hit-nationwide-power-blackout-state-tv-says/81257946/” title=”maintenance teams worked to identify the cause“] and restore power as quickly as possible.
- The list of reported cases of Zika virus in the U.S. continues to grow. There are now [link url=”http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_29593082/four-zika-virus-cases-reported-bay-area” title=”four reported cases of Zika in the San Francisco area“], and the number of [link url=”http://www.kvue.com/news/local/with-18-total-confirmed-cases-texas-tackles-zika-virus/66340057″ title=”confirmed Zika cases in Texas has grown to 18.“] As of March 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported [link url=”http://www.cdc.gov/zika/” title=”at least 153 cases of Zika in the U.S. overall.“]
- According to a recent study, the global sea level [link url=”https://amuedge.com/study-sea-level-is-rising-at-an-alarming-rate/” title=”rose more in the 20th century than in any of the previous 27 centuries.“] Researchers closely examined global sea level rise and any effects that climate change had on the rise, and discovered a [link url=”https://amuedge.com/study-sea-level-is-rising-at-an-alarming-rate/” title=”direct connection between global warming and the rise of the seas.“]
- Ted Gatsas, the Mayor of Manchester, NH, urged New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan to [link url=”http://www.wmur.com/politics/manchester-mayor-calls-for-state-of-emergency-declaration-over-heroin-crisis/38305088″ title=”declare a state of emergency“] to fight against the heroin epidemic the city is currently facing. There have reportedly been [link url=”http://www.wmur.com/politics/manchester-mayor-calls-for-state-of-emergency-declaration-over-heroin-crisis/38305088″ title=”119 overdose calls already in Manchester this year“], with victims ranging from age 15 to age 70.
- Earlier this week, Senate Republicans blocked an amendment that would [link url=”http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/271533-senate-gop-blocks-emergency-funding-for-opioid-epidemic” title=”add $600 million in emergency funding to an opioid abuse bill.“] Democrats are pushing for additional funds to help cities that are currently struggling with prescription drug and heroin addiction, but [link url=”http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/271533-senate-gop-blocks-emergency-funding-for-opioid-epidemic” title=”many Republicans are questioning the need for more funds“] at this time.
- A recent study linked the [link url=”https://amuedge.com/study-thawing-permafrost-could-worsen-global-warming/” title=”thawing of permafrost with further effects on global warming“]. Scientists studied tundra in Alaska to examine exactly what happens to the land when it thaws, and discovered that the thawing [link url=”https://amuedge.com/study-thawing-permafrost-could-worsen-global-warming/” title=”contributed greenhouse gases“] that, in turn, further compounded the effects of global warming.
- A piece of debris [link url=”http://www.inquisitr.com/2846763/missing-mh370-debris-surface-near-madagascar-close-to-second-anniversary-of-disaster/” title=”that may be from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370“] surfaced off the coast of Madagascar this week, almost two years after the mysterious disappearance of the aircraft. Authorities are working to examine the debris, but [link url=”http://www.inquisitr.com/2846763/missing-mh370-debris-surface-near-madagascar-close-to-second-anniversary-of-disaster/” title=”Malaysia Airlines has yet to comment“], pending investigation.
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