Emergency and disaster management briefing for April 2, 2021: A bomb threat shut down the Hollywood/Ft. Lauderdale International Airport for several hours on Thursday morning; 51 people are dead after a Taiwanese express train hit a crane and derailed in a mountain tunnel; the slow process of rebuilding homes is finally underway in Santa Cruz after the CZU Complex Fires; the Broward County Public School district refuses to pay ransom after their data systems were hacked; Egyptian officials are holding the Evergreen ship that was lodged in the Suez Canal while an investigation is conducted; the BLM has closed the Cottonwood Day Use Area near Carlsbad after a brush fire damaged visitor structures; forecasts call for above-average Atlantic Ocean tropical activity based on ENSO patterns; the Halema’uma’u crater lava lake grows deeper as the Kilauea eruption continues.

Start an Emergency & Disaster Management degree at American Military University.

1. A bomb threat shut down the Hollywood/Ft. Lauderdale International Airport in Florida very early Thursday morning. Entrances and roadways to FLL shut for about six hours while police investigated what were allegedly suspicious wires coming from a vehicle outside Terminals 1 and 2. The Bomb Squad from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office declared the scene all clear at around 7 a.m., and the airport was able to resume operations.

2. An express train derailment inside a tunnel in Taiwan on Thursday has left at least 51 dead and another 66 people with moderate to severe injuries. The No. 408 Taroko Train, operated by Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA), was carrying 350 people when it departed Shulin, New Taipei bound for Taitung. Just before the Qingshui Tunnel, the train hit a crane that had fallen onto the tracks. The first five carriages derailed and piled up inside the narrow tunnel, which posed challenges to rescue efforts.

3. The slow process of rebuilding homes is finally underway in Santa Cruz, California, after the CZU August Lightning Complex fires devastated homes in 2020. The county saw a total of 911 homes get destroyed when the massive wildfire swept through the region, where it destroyed a total of 1,400 structures. Phase I and II of the region’s recovery included inspecting fire-damaged homes, removing hazardous waste, the removal of hazardous trees and other debris, cleaning up ash, and sampling soils for contaminates.

4. Broward County Public Schools in Florida are refusing to pay the $40 million dollar ransom demand to hackers who allegedly breached their systems earlier this month. The district announced the internet outage on March 7 that disrupted online student learning, but it did not disclose the details of what had occurred. In a statement allegedly released Thursday, the school district stated they had hired a cybersecurity firm to investigate the hack and also cast doubt that the hackers had actually obtained personal data on students or employees.

5. Officials in the shipping industry note that the fallout from the Suez Canal blockage by a massive Evergreen container ship could impact global trade for months. The Suez Canal Authority is investigating the incident and has prohibited the ship from departing the canal. Physical and financial losses — along with the costs of dislodging the ship — have been estimated near $1 billion, with another $9 billion in delayed global trade. The ship was stuck sideways in the Suez Canal for nearly a week, blocking all global ship traffic through the canal.

6. The Bureau of Land Management closed a portion of the Black River Recreation Area near Carlsbad, New Mexico, after a brush fire scorched at least 150 acres. The Cottonwood Day Use Area has been closed temporarily after the fire destroyed riparian habitat and damaged the wildlife viewing platform, educational signage, and many cottonwood trees. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the wildfire, which began on March 30.

7. Forecasters are predicting that the 2021 hurricane season will be above average in regards to tropical activity in the Atlantic Ocean. The season is forecast to bring 16-20 named storms, including seven to 10 hurricanes, of which 3-5 are likely to become major hurricane strength (Category 3 or higher). Water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean have a role in Atlantic hurricanes, with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) patterns (El Niño or La Niña) and the presence or lack of wind shear preventing or allowing the development of storms.

8. The lava lake in the Halem’uma’u crater continues to rise in the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates the lake to hold about 10 billion gallons of lava and noted it is only about 170 feet from becoming viewable from the Kilauea overlook. Tuesday marked 100 days of eruption at the volcano, with the lava flow covering approximately 109 acres to date.