AMU Emergency Management Original Public Safety

EDM Monday Briefing: 6.2 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Hawaii

Emergency and disaster management briefing for October 11, 2021: The NWS has issued Red Flag Warnings in California due to forecast high winds of up to 50 mph; PSPS by PG&E are likely in central California amid the threat of high winds; seismic activity under the Cumbre Vieja volcano remains robust; SAR teams rescued 87 ultramarathon participants off a mountain in Utah due to extreme weather conditions; a major 6.2 earthquake struck off Hawaii’s Big Island on Sunday morning; fish from a Denver-based seafood company is the likely source of salmonella poisoning in 102 people; Google confirmed four high-level hacks affecting its Chrome browser; and Tropical Storm Pamela, churning in the Pacific Ocean, is forecast to become a major hurricane prior to making landfall on the west-central coast of Mexico.

1. Although temperatures are cooler, the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Red Flag Warning for San Francisco’s Bay Area until Tuesday. The gusty north winds and dry conditions markedly increase the danger for new wildfire starts that would likely spread quickly. The high winds pose threats to power lines and trees that could topple or break, creating power outages and possibly sparking fires.

2. Extreme winds are likely to extend into central and southern California, where winds are forecast to reach 30 to 50 mph on Monday afternoon. To prevent fire starts, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is planning for potential Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) in several areas where the winds are forecast to be most severe, including Cambria, San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County. The National Weather Service (NWS) noted that the afternoon and evening hours would produce the most dangerous conditions.

3. Seismic activity remains active and robust on the island of La Palma, the majority of which is clustered beneath the erupting volcano. The Cumbre Vieja volcano eruption rate remains high with magma effusion rates of 50-100 cubic meters per second. The seismic activity is deep, about six to nine miles beneath the surface, without shallower quakes. That activity indicates that the current conduits for magma to the surface are open and viable.

4. Search and Rescue (SAR) teams, in conjunction with the Davis County Sheriff’s Office, were mobilized Saturday in Utah to rescue ultramarathon runners caught in a blinding snowstorm. Weather conditions changed rapidly, and 87 runners had to be rescued in Davis County near Farmington Canyon. The runners faced extreme weather conditions, including 12-18 inches of snow and blinding whiteouts. SAR teams used ATVs and snowmobiles to bring the runners down from the mountain, including one who was injured and others who were suffering from hypothermia.

5. Late Sunday morning, a major earthquake struck off the coast of Ka’u, Hawaii, and strong shaking was felt across the Big Island. The magnitude 6.2 quake occurred around 3:48 p.m. Eastern Time and was followed by multiple aftershocks, ranging from 2.3 to 4.3 magnitude. No tsunami threat occurred due to the strong underwater quake, which was at a depth of 21 miles. Shaking was felt across the island, and residents in Oahu also felt the strong quake although no injuries were reported.

6. A salmonella outbreak linked to dozens of illnesses in 14 counties was allegedly traced to a Denver seafood company. A total of 102 cases of salmonella have been recorded with 82 of those cases occurring in 14 Colorado counties, including Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, Eagle, Jefferson and Larimer. Officials are cautioning residents to throw out any affected fish products that they purchased from Denver-based Northeast Seafood Products, Inc., and disinfect any surfaces the food touched.

7. Google confirmed multiple high-level hacks of its Chrome browser last week, just days after it announced its 12th and 13th zero-day hacks. A total of four hacks were reported, and Google is urging users to make immediate updates to Chrome. Information about the hacks is currently restricted in an effort to give Chrome users time to update their browsers. The rollout is being staggered, so it may not be available to everyone right away.

8. Tropical Storm Pamela is churning in the Pacific Ocean and is forecast to become a major hurricane prior to making landfall on the west-central coast of Mexico. Warm sea surface temperatures (SSTs), coupled with the moist environment, is conducive for the system’s steady and rapid strengthening that will continue prior to landfall. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted that Mexican residents in Sinaloa, Durango and portions of southern Baja California Sur should closely monitor the progress of this rapidly intensifying storm.

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.

Comments are closed.