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EDM Friday Briefing: Krísuvík Volcano Eruption May Be Imminent

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 5, 2021: More than 18,000 earthquakes suggests an eruption may be imminent at Iceland’s Krísuvík volcano; an 8.1 magnitude earthquake in the Kermadec Islands prompted a tsunami warning for New Zealand; an arson suspect was arrested in Santa Cruz for her alleged role in starting at least five fires; the U.S. Coast Guard helped rescue 31 Canadian fishermen before their fire-damaged boat sank; upgrades are underway at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant that will improve safety and reliability; a hardware malfunction nixes the the Cobb County School District UV light project; and select Bravo raw dog foods are being recalled after testing positive for two potentially dangerous bacteria.

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1. A  week of intense seismic activity has volcanologists closely watching the Krísuvík volcano, situated in Iceland. A total of 18,000 earthquakes up to a magnitude of 5.7 have occurred since activity began on February 24. The Krísuvík volcano is a shield volcano located on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula, which has been quiet for nearly 800 years, with its last eruption thought to be in the 14th century.

2. People in New Zealand scrambled for higher ground on Thursday after a strong, 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck the nearby Kermadec Islands and prompted a tsunami warning. The quake was one of several strong earthquakes that struck the Kermadec Islands within just a few hours. The islands are located about 620 miles from New Zealand and are part of the Ring of Fire.

3. The Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Department has arrested a suspect in connection with a series of fires that were started in the county. Officials stated that a total of five fires are under investigation for arson, with the suspect, Tanya Posey, 39, believed to be involved in all of the suspicious fires. All five fires were started in the Felton area, and Posey was arrested nearby, shortly after a February 28 fire was extinguished by firefighters.

4. The U.S. Coast Guard assisted the Canadian Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Air Force in rescuing 31 Canadian fishermen from a sinking boat. The 143-foot boat was about 130 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia on Tuesday evening when it caught fire and then began taking on water. The rescue was difficult amid heavy winds and high seas, with 26-foot waves, but no lives were lost.

5. Upgrades to the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Unit 2 began this past weekend after the unit was successfully shut down. Turbine upgrades will include new rotors, inner casings, steam piping and other new components, which will improve its output, generating an additional 7 megawatts of electricity. All three units at Browns Ferry, operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA),  are scheduled to be upgraded, increasing the safety and reliability of the plant and its electrical generation into the future.

6. The Cobb County School District in Georgia decided against the permanent installation of ultraviolet (UV) lights for disinfection at its area schools. An alleged malfunction of the UV lights during a testing period in at least one school prompted the decision. According to reports, hardware failures led to the UV lights turning on in two offices and a flickering of the UV lights throughout the school during a school day, which the district determined to be unacceptable.

7. A frozen, raw dog food is being recalled due to its potential Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella contamination. Bravo Packing, Inc., is recalling all of its raw, frozen Ground Beef and Performance Dog varieties of food after samples collected for testing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tested positive for both Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. Both of the bacteria can cause serious illnesses, especially in young children or the elderly.

8. In critical response situations, air medical transport operators provide a crucial service to help save lives. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) does not yet require these companies to comply with Safety Management Systems (SMSs) that are required for commercial carriers; however, emergency responders can take steps to ensure the safety of an air transport. The steps include ensuring the operator is approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS), determining how the operator accepts flights and being aware of weather conditions at the time of the needed air transport.


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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