Emergency and disaster management briefing for July 21, 2021: The USGS reported a large swarm of more than 300 earthquakes beneath Yellowstone Lake; the Bootleg Fire created its own potentially threatening fire weather; packaged lettuce was recalled due to its potential contamination with salmonella; the Glen Canyon Dam is at risk of not being able to produce electricity; smoke from Western wildfires impacts Eastern cities in the U.S. and Canada; the NHC is watching a broad trough of low pressure moving off the Southeastern United States; at least 12 people died after floodwaters inundated an underground subway station in China; and the recent flooding in Germany and other parts of Europe could be the region’s worst disaster in 50 years.
1. A large swarm of earthquakes rattled Yellowstone National Park beginning on Thursday evening last week. Many of the more than 300 quakes registered at least magnitude 2.0 and higher, with the U.S. Geological Survey recording at least 4 of magnitude 3.0+. The quakes were centered beneath Yellowstone Lake, and according to the USGS, were caused by hydrothermal fluids interacting with existing faults, a common occurrence.
An earthquake swarm is rattling Yellowstone National Park. https://t.co/9vbx8qml3O— PELA GeoEnvironmental (@PELAGeoEnv) July 20, 2021
2. The Bootleg Fire burning in Oregon has scorched more than 394,400 acres and is now creating its own weather. The fire has generated a pyrocumulonimbus cloud that has reached nearly 30,000 feet, bringing the threats of fire tornadoes, hail, lightning, and gusty winds. Fire weather is generated by large, intense wildfires as they pull moisture from vegetation, and the weather then often intensifies fire conditions.
Oregon's Bootleg Fire has burned an area larger than NYC and officials do not expect it to be fully contained until November.— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 19, 2021
The fire can now generate its own weather, including "fire clouds" that spark lightning.
There are about 70 other large fires burning in the U.S. pic.twitter.com/Cw7xxQGA0c
3. Packaged lettuce sold at major retailers is now being recalled due to concerns of possible salmonella contamination. BrightFarms issued a voluntary recall for its packaged salad greens that were distributed to retailers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin. The lettuce was grown at the company’s indoor farm in Rochelle, Illinois, and it was distributed to at least 10 different retailers including Jewel-Osco, Metro Market, and select Walmart stores.
4. Amid an ongoing drought in the West, Lake Powell is now at historic lows, which prompted a release of water from the Flaming Gorge reservoir. The water is desperately needed to ensure the continued operation of the turbines at Glen Canyon Dam for electrical generation. A seven-state agreement to share the resources of the Colorado River prohibits water being held back behind Glen Canyon, and the continued releases have dropped the water reservoir to its now critical levels, requiring the water from Flaming Gorge.
Emergency measures are in place at Lake Powell, which is at 35% capacity.— Jared Dillingham (@JaredDillingham) July 20, 2021
The feds are diverting water to the lake, so Glen Canyon Dam can continue producing electricity.
Several boat ramps are closed and houseboats were pulled over the weekend. pic.twitter.com/qxfcE4NlA0
5. Eastern cities in the United States and Canada are being affected by smoke from wildfires across the West. On Tuesday, the National Weather Service (NWS) released satellite images of smoke drifting across New York and the tri-state area. Hazy skies were also observed in Southern Ontario, including in Toronto, and the smoke was expected to impact air quality in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.
The smoke is impacting much of the East Coast including major cities such as New York. https://t.co/jtn4TI64T1— Brent Watts WDBJ (@wattsupbrent) July 21, 2021
6. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is watching a broad trough of low pressure that is set to move off the southeastern United States. Marginally conducive conditions exist within the environment for the system to develop into a tropical system. According to the NHC, the system has about a 20% chance of development over the next five days.
(NHC Atlantic Outlook)— Shelby OH Weather🌤 (@ShelbyOhWx) July 21, 2021
ZCZC MIATWOAT ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
Tropical Weather Outlook
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
800 AM EDT Wed Jul 21 2021
For the North Atlantic…Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:
1. A broad trough of low … – https://t.co/548nfRVAmo pic.twitter.com/BcjQRRrnTq
7. Torrential rainfall has led to historic flooding in China, especially in Zhengzhou, where a flooded subway killed at least a dozen people. Floodwaters inundated an underground station, flooding a carriage and trapping hundreds amid chest-high water. Authorities noted that at least 500 people had to be rescued from the raging floodwaters rolling through the underground subway station, located in central Henan province.
Severe flooding in central China has killed at least 12 people. Some were trapped in the subway in the city of Zhengzhou. More than 100,000 people had to be evacuated, state media reported. https://t.co/wNnMLh7PFu— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 21, 2021
8. The death toll from the recent catastrophic flooding in Germany has reached more than 150, with hundreds of people still reported missing across Europe. Cleanup has barely begun, but officials say the cost is likely to exceed several billion euros. Millions of euros in aid have already been pledged to help rebuild roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure as quickly as possible. Western Germany appeared to be the hardest hit, but impacts were felt in Belgium, parts of the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
Three days after deadly floods hit Germany, residents and volunteers begin to sort through the damage in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler. See footage: https://t.co/QoqlkIaQIr— AccuWeather (@accuweather) July 19, 2021