AMU Emergency Management Original Public Safety

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Lava Fire Evacuations and Explosive Growth

Emergency and disaster management briefing for June 30, 2021: LinkedIn recently suffered a data breach that allegedly compromised 92% of its users; more bodies were discovered overnight amid the rubble of the collapsed condo building near Miami; the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada was broken three days in a row in BC; power cables melted and roadways buckled in Oregon and Washington amid the ongoing intense heat wave; the Port of Yantian resumed full operations with the hopes of quickly clearing container backlogs; excessive power demands near Spokane prompted rolling blackouts on Monday; evacuation orders remain in place as the Lava Fire burning in Northern California has exploded to more than 17,500 acres; and a 3.9 earthquake struck the Bay Area Monday evening, causing area rail transportation to halt and suffer delays.

1. LinkedIn allegedly suffered a data breach that has compromised the personal information of about 92% of its user base. The site has approximately 756 million users, and of those, the data of about 700 million was reportedly found for sale on the dark web. Data listed included phone numbers, geolocations, and physical addresses, but may also include social media accounts, email addresses, and background information.

2. First responders are still combing through the rubble of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida, after its collapse last Thursday. The death toll stands at 12, with 149 others still unaccounted for or missing; however, additional bodies are believed to have been found overnight. Three million pounds of concrete have been removed as local, national, and international search teams, including the Israeli Task Force, continue to search through the debris, layer by layer.

3. More than 230 people are dead in British Columbia (BC) amid an unprecedented heat wave that sent temperatures soaring into the triple digits. The majority of those who died were elderly or had underlying medical conditions that the high temperatures exacerbated. A new highest temperature ever recorded in Canada was set again in Lytton, BC, for the third day in a row, when the town reached 121 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday.

4. The heat wave continues for the Northwest as record-breaking temperatures continue across the area. Portland Streetcar service shut down on Tuesday after the intense heat burned holes in power cables. In Everson, Washington, the intense heat has caused the pavement to soften and expand, leading to buckling, rutting, and potholes on area roadways. The road damage forced the closure of State Road 544 due to safety concerns.

5. The supply chain could see some signs of recovery in about a month, now that the largest port in China has returned to its full operations. The Port of Yantian returned to full operation last Thursday, and port officials believe its stacked container backlog can be cleared within a few weeks. The backlog at the port did affect production levels at factories, who do not have the capacity to store finished product inventory. Further issues with suppliers are likely to take longer to resolve.

6. Excessive demands for power amid the ongoing heat wave in the Northwest have led to rolling blackouts. As the intense heat moves inland, over 8,000 customers lost power in Spokane on Monday, with Avista Utilities cautioning that the number affected could increase. Avista noted that while it had prepared for a sharp increase in demand, the company hit its limit quicker than they expected.

7. The Lava Fire in Northern California has exploded to over 17,500 acres amid scorching temperatures that have gripped the region. The wildfire, burning between the cities of Weed and Mt. Shasta, has prompted evacuation orders by the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department, which remain in place. Nearly 800 firefighters are working to contain the blaze, which is currently at 19% containment and threatens nearby infrastructure, including active Union Pacific rail lines.

8. A magnitude 3.9 earthquake struck San Francisco’s Bay Area on Monday evening at around 6:30 p.m. The quake struck at a depth of about 6.2 miles and was centered in Alameda County, near San Lorenzo. While there were no reports of injuries or damages, the quake was significant enough to halt or delay BART and Muni lines until track inspections were completed.

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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