AMU Emergency Management Original Public Safety

EDM Monday Briefing: Injuries and Damage after Peru Earthquake

Emergency and disaster management briefing for November 29, 2021: The eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma intensified over the weekend; humans caused at least one-quarter of all wildfires from 2000 to 2018 in the San Juan National Forest; P&G has recalled several lots of its Old Spice and Secret anti-perspirant deodorants; lava continues to fill the Halema’uma’u Crater at the Kilauea volcano; hundreds of FedEx packages were found in a ravine in Alabama; multiple fire departments were called to fight a wildfire in Watauga County, North Carolina; northern Peru was shaken by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake; and NWCG highlights the use of SAFECOM for aviation fire safety.

1. The eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma in the Canary Islands is now estimated to be larger than the eruption that occurred in 1585. On Sunday, new vents opened and released copious amounts of lava that crossed the Tacande road and now cover previously untouched lands. The latest eruption is producing dense ash plumes that reach nearly one mile into the sky, with the ash drifting to the southwest and out over the Atlantic Ocean.

2. Outdoor recreation is always popular, but with more people accessing remote areas of national forests and parks, the threat of wildfires increases. Humans started more than one-quarter of the wildfires that occurred from 2000 to 2018 in Colorado’s San Juan National Forest. Colorado often experiences dry summers, and visitors to the area may lack knowledge on proper nature etiquette, including how to leave no trace of fires, to safely burn campfires, and to be certain fires are fully extinguished when they leave the area. Forest rangers faithfully patrol the forest to ward off any potential fires, and officials are asking visitors to educate themselves on how to have a safe visit by helping to preserve the forest and prevent wildfires.

3. The possible presence of benzene, a known carcinogen, has prompted the recall of two antiperspirants by Proctor & Gamble (P&G). The recall for Old Spice and Secret aerosol spray antiperspirants was announced Thanksgiving week by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The products were distributed nationwide, and several lots of the two deodorants were included in the recall.

4. The Kilauea volcano on the Big Island in Hawaii continues to erupt, although all lava activity is currently confined to the Halema’uma’u Crater. The single vent in the western wall continues to spew lava with fountains reaching about 16 feet into the air. The lava lake is now 925 feet deep. Although 93 million cubic yards of lava have erupted from the volcano over the past year, it accounts for only 10% of the collapsed volume of the crater in 2018.

5. Hundreds of FedEx packages were found dumped in the woods north of Birmingham, Alabama. The packages were found in a ravine in the small town of Hayden, and local law enforcement estimates that there are anywhere from 300-400 packages. The majority of the packages are unopened. FedEx announced it was taking steps to recover and transport the affected packages, and the company is working with local law enforcement to determine how the packages ended up in the bottom of the ravine.

6. Multiple fire departments were battling a wildfire that broke out in Watauga County, North Carolina, on Sunday. The blaze was reported just after noon. Firefighting crews were dispatched to the region, which was located near the 10000 block of Elk Road. The fire had reportedly reached only 40 acres, but fire crews remained in the area overnight to prevent any additional fire spread. Low humidity levels, northwest winds of 20 mph, and dry winds have also prompted a fire danger warning for Monday for Watauga, Ashe, and Wilkes counties.

7. A strong 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Peru at about 5:52 a.m. on Sunday. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was at a depth of nearly 70 miles, likely reducing some damage and casualties. The temblor was centered about 26 miles north-northwest of Barranca. Injuries and damages were reported across the region, including as far away as Lima.

8. In their most recent “6 Minutes For Safety,” the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) highlights the use of the SAFECOM system. SAFECOMs, or the Aviation Safety Communiqué, is a tool that is used to identify, document, track, and correct safety issues related to aviation, including the aircraft used for firefighting. Any potential problem that could cause an aviation-related mishap, including incursions, crashes, or other incidents, needs to be reported through SAFECOMs. This includes any condition, observation, act, maintenance problem, or situation/circumstance with the aircraft or personnel that may pose a hazard to aviation safety.

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.

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