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EDM Wednesday Briefing: C-TECC Hosts 9/11 Webinar on September 9

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for September 8, 2021: One person has reportedly been killed after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck near Acapulco, Mexico; Lake Oroville has dropped to a record 24% capacity due to California’s ongoing drought; fire retardant was sprayed on homes in South Lake Tahoe to help prevent the spread of the Caldor Fire; divers capped a pipeline that was sheared by Hurricane Ida, causing an oil spill 11 miles in length; additional evacuations were ordered for the River Complex 2021 Fires; a ransomware group has posted a threat on the dark web to companies it attacks; a bill is moving forward in the Illinois Senate to save two of its nuclear power plants; and a free webinar is being offered by C-TECC on lessons learned from the Pentagon’s Unified Command on 9/11.

1. A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Pacific Coast of Mexico on Tuesday and allegedly killed one person. The temblor struck in the state of Oaxaca, near Acapulco, at a depth of about 12 miles. Rock slides were reported near Acapulco, and a tsunami warning was issued. Although shaking was felt as far away as Mexico City, limited damage occurred.

2. Officials have reduced Lake Oroville to a record low of 24% capacity due to the ongoing drought in California. The ongoing, severe drought conditions have also led to reduced water levels at Lake Mead, which is now at historic lows. Hot temperatures, low humidity, and near-zero rainfall amounts have left the majority of the state parched, reducing water reservoir levels and leading to more than 7,000 wildfires across the state.

3. Many residents who evacuated their homes in South Lake Tahoe due to the Caldor Fire are still not able to return home. In an effort to protect properties, firefighters are applying fire retardant to vegetation around about 250 homes. The fire retardant, Phos-Chek, was applied to properties where the homeowners’ insurance companies covered the cost. In the event that winds shift or spot fires break out the retardant will prevent whatever it coats from igniting.

4. An oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by Hurricane Ida has now been capped. On Monday evening, divers were able to install a containment dome over a sheared-off pipe measuring one foot in diameter. After the Category 4 storm made landfall in Louisiana on August 29, the 11-mile-long oil slick began to appear two miles south of Port Fourcho in relatively shallow water (34 feet deep). Coast Guard response teams are monitoring the spill, and efforts to identify the pipeline’s owner are in progress.

5. The River Complex 2021 Fires in the Klamath National Forest in California have forced additional evacuations as strong winds and low humidity dominated the area on Tuesday. Zone 5 was added to evacuation orders already in place for Zones 1, 2, 3 and 4, due to the rapid spread of the Haypress Fire in Sugar Pine Creek. The River Complex is comprised of the Haypress and Summer Fires that burned together on Tuesday, and the Cronan Fire, all of which have burned an estimated 135,689 acres with only 19% containment.

6. A ransomware group has posted a threat to companies suffering their cyberattacks. The ransomware group, Ragnar Locker, has indicated that if their victims contact law enforcement, including local police or the FBI, they will release the compromised data immediately. The group does extensive reconnaissance on the company it plans to attack before it encrypts files; previous major victims include Dassault Falcon, ADATA, and Capcom, a Japanese game maker.

7. A bill is moving forward in the Illinois Senate that could save two nuclear power plants in the state. Exelon Corporation owns the two nuclear plants slated for closure, the Byron Nuclear Generating Station and the Dresden Generating Station, the first privately financed nuclear power plant built in the United States. Nuclear power plants provide green energy because they generate virtually emissions-free energy.

8. A free webinar discussing lessons learned from the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon is being held on September 9. The webinar will feature the leaders of the Unified Command for the Pentagon – retired Fire Chief Jim Schwartz from Arlington County, Virginia, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs. Advanced registration is required for the 9/11 webinar, which is hosted by The Committee for Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (C-TECC).

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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