AMU Emergency Management Original Public Safety

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Anchor Hook May Have Caused Pipeline Break

Emergency and disaster management briefing for October 6, 2021: A private jet crash in east Georgia killed two people; the pipeline failure off the coast of California was likely caused by an anchor; intense lightning amid a frontal system prompted beach closures in SoCal on Monday; two South Bay Area high schools were evacuated for bomb threats; Syniverse reveals that hackers likely went undetected in their systems for at least five years; GE announces the successful operation of its first Haliade-X 14MW offshore wind turbine; HVO reduced the alert levels of the Kilauea Volcano amid its ongoing eruption; and more than 1,300 earthquakes have been detected amid an ongoing uptick in seismic activity on the Reykjanes peninsula near the Krísuvík volcano in Iceland.

1. Authorities have confirmed the deaths of two pilots who were killed when the private jet they were flying crashed in east Georgia. The plane, a Dassault Falcon 20, was en route from Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport to the Thomson-McDuffie Airport, when it went down in a privately owned field near Thomson at around 5:44 a.m. on Tuesday morning. An investigation into the incident is being conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), in conjunction with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

2. Early Saturday morning, a pipeline failure about five miles offshore of Orange County, California, at a depth of nearly 100 feet, resulted in a crude oil spill of about 144,000 gallons. The Coast Guard said in a statement that the underwater pipeline revealed a 13-inch split, which ran parallel to the pipe. According to reports, officials noted that the breach may have been caused by an anchor hooking the pipeline, which caused it to be moved approximately 105 feet laterally.

3. Rain, intense lightning and isolated thunderstorms swept through Southern California on Monday, prompting beach closures from the San Pedro Area to Malibu. Special weather statements were issued as the storms and lightning developed across the area. Some parts of Southern California received up to a half inch of rain; however, frequent lightning also sparked fears of wildfire ignitions amid severe drought conditions across the region.

4. Two high schools in the South Bay Area were evacuated on Tuesday due to bomb threats. Authorities believe the bomb threats received by the two high schools – one in San Jose, California, and the other in Mountain View – were related as the phone calls came from the same number. According to authorities, the first threat was received by St. Francis High School in Mountain View around 12:30 p.m., while the second threat was received by Presentation High School in San Jose at around 1:54 p.m.

5. A major telecommunications company stated that hackers likely had access to their systems for at least five years. Syniverse, who counts T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T as its customers, reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in late September that unauthorized access to their systems began in May of 2016. The system breach was not discovered by the company until May of 2021, exposing billions of text messages and millions of cell phone users’ data during the five-year span.

6. General Electric (GE) Renewable Energy announced that its Haliade-X offshore wind turbine is now operational in the Netherlands. Located offshore of Rotterdam, the Haliade-X is running at 14 megawatts, the first wind turbine in the industry to operate with an output this high. GE has reportedly stated that one of these turbines is able to generate 74 GWh of gross annual energy production, which allegedly saves up to 52,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).

7. The Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO) changed the alert status of the Kilauea volcano located on the Big Island of Hawaii. According to reports, the volcanic activity is currently confined with the Halema’uma’u Crater within Volcanoes National Park, posing little threat to the area from its ongoing eruption. Accordingly, the Alert Level was reduced to Watch, and the Aviation Color Code was changed to Orange.

8. An uptick in seismic activity on the Reykjanes peninsula, located in southwestern Iceland, is home to the Krísuvík volcano. More than 1,300 earthquakes were detected near the Keilir mountain within a 24-hour period, including a 4.2 magnitude quake on October 2. Another four earthquakes with a magnitude 3 or higher were detected over the past 24 hours southwest of Keilir. The Krísuvík volcano, which is identified as an effusive (lava flow) eruption style, is believed to have last erupted around 1340.

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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