ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 15 April 2021, police officers used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse protesters congregated outside a Catholic Mass at the Church of St. Peter, located in the Pétion-Ville area of the capital Port-au-Prince. Protesters near the church lit a police vehicle on fire during the Mass, which reportedly prompted police officers to throw a can of tear gas inside the church as parishioners exited and to also target nearby protesters. Parishioners attending the Mass — unofficially titled the “Mass for the freedom of Haiti” — chanted slogans expressing their dissatisfaction with the country’s insecurity, including a series of high-profile kidnappings of members of the Catholic clergy and community, as well as anti-government sentiments. There were no reports regarding the number of casualties resulting from the violence. Demonstrators later erected and lit tire barricades on fire in the areas of Bourdon, Lalue and Pétion-Ville.
Lesser Antilles (Security threat level – 1): As of approximately 0405 local time (0805 UTC) on 16 April 2021, La Soufriere volcano continued to spew sporadic volcanic ash clouds, with some extending to approximately 2,440 m (8,000 ft) in altitude, according to the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Washington. At latest report, sporadic ash emissions were detected with a hot spot visible via infrared imagery. Experts forecast that during the next 18 hours the volcano will likely not spew any volcanic ash. Additionally, the ash cloud is expected to maintain its approximate altitude of 2,440 m as it moves at approximately 19 kph (12 mph) in a westerly direction.
The volcanic activity continues to disrupt services in St. Vincent and the surrounding area. While most areas on St. Vincent remain covered in ash, recovery operations have commenced. Argyle International Airport (TVSA/SVD) on St. Vincent remains closed, and Grantley Adams International Airport (TBPB/BGI) in Barbados is expected to remain closed until at least 1200 local time on 16 April. Flights to Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent are still suspended due to the lingering effects of the ashfall. Water shortages continue, as water supplies remain contaminated and available supplies are begin prioritized to emergency shelters. Authorities recommend that water from public water services be boiled and that water exposed to ashfall not be consumed. At latest report, intermittent power outages continue across the island. No casualties have been reported as a result of the eruption.
Lesser Antilles / Chile / Colombia (Security threat levels – 1 / 2 / 4): On 15 April 2021, authorities in Antigua and Barbuda revised and extended a nationwide nightly curfew aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19. Curfew hours are from 2300 to 0500 local time (0300-0900 UTC), during which time individuals are required to remain in their homes except to seek urgent medical attention. The curfew will remain in place until 30 June.
The government of Chile on 15 April announced adjustments to its city level coronavirus-related quarantine measures, which will remain in effect until further notice. As of 0500 local time (0100 UTC) on 17 April, the following communities will enter phase one (quarantine) of the government’s five-stage system: Pozo Almonte (located in the region of Tarapaca) and Retiro (located in the region of Maule). Additionally, the community of Paredones (located in the region of O’Higgins) will revert to phase two (transition). Conversely, as of 0500 local time on 19 April the following communities will advance to phase two (transition): La Serena, Los Vilos, Monte Patria and Coquimbo (all located in the region of Coquimbo), Peumo and Santa Cruz (both located in the region of O’Higgins), Quillón (located in Nuble), Los Sauces (located in Arauncania), and Los Lagos (located in de los Rios).
In Colombia, the mayor of Cali announced a lockdown on 15 April due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. The lockdown will remain in effect from 1300 local time (1800 UTC) on 17 April to 0500 local time (1000 UTC) on 19 April, during which residents are required to remain at home, except for essential purposes. Additionally, the sale of alcohol will be banned from 2000 local time on 16 April to 0500 local time on 19 April, and all social gatherings are banned until further notice.
United States (Security threat level – 2): Shortly after 2300 local time on 15 April 2021 (0300 UTC on 16 April), a gunman opened fire at a FedEx facility near Indianapolis International Airport (KIND/IND), located nearly 13 mi (21 km) southwest of Indianapolis, the capital of the midwestern U.S. state of Indiana. Eyewitness reports indicate that the assailant, who was armed with a high-powered firearm, began to fire randomly at the shipping company’s operations center. At least eight individuals were killed, and a number of others were wounded. Four of the wounded were hospitalized for medical treatment; one remains in critical condition. A local police spokesperson stated that the suspected gunman committed suicide at the scene. Flight operations at the airport were not affected due to the event. The motive for the shooting is unknown, and it is not clear if the perpetrator was an employee at the facility. Detectives from the Indiana State Police are collaborating with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to investigate the event.
Philippines (Security threat level – 4): On 16 April 2021, authorities extended an existing coronavirus-related entry ban on most foreign travelers through 30 April in response to high numbers of COVID-19 cases. The ban was initially scheduled to end on 21 April. Exceptions to the order include diplomats, medical workers, spouses and children of Filipino citizens, transportation workers and anyone else who receives approval from officials.
Thailand (Security threat level – 3): On 16 April 2021, authorities announced that on 18 April new coronavirus-related restrictions will go into effect nationwide for 14 days. Additionally, 18 provinces will be declared “red” zones while the country’s remaining provinces will be classified as “orange” zones. Nationwide, entertainment venues, such as bars, karaoke lounges and massage parlors, will close; gatherings of more than 50 people will be banned unless an organizer receives prior approval from authorities; and residents are advised to avoid unnecessary travel outside their homes. In red zone provinces — including the capital Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chonburi, Samut Prakan, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Samut Sakhon, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom, Phuket, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nonthaburi, Songkhla, Tak, Udon Thani, Suphanburi, Sa Kaew, Rayong and Khon Kaen — restaurants and markets are required to suspend in-person services nightly by 2100 local time (1400 UTC). Meanwhile in orange areas, restaurants are allowed to remain open until 2300 local time.
Ukraine (Security threat level – 4): On 14 April 2021, authorities in the capital Kyiv extended lockdown restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19. Under the restrictions, which are now in effect until 30 April, access to public transportation is restricted to essential workers with passenger passes only, while all schools and kindergartens remain closed. Meanwhile, public events are banned.
Nigeria (Security threat level – 5): As of 16 April 2021, clashes between armed groups and national forces remain ongoing in northeastern Borno state following an attack overnight on 13-14 April by rebel militants against Damasak — a border town housing a military base. During the initial attack, militants attempted to infiltrate the military base but were repelled by government forces. They subsequently looted and destroyed nearby homes, businesses, a police station, humanitarian aid agency warehouses and a UNHCR facility. At least 18 people were killed, and 21 others were injured, although the death toll is likely to rise. It was the third such attack in the span of a week, prompting approximately 80% of the 65,000 residents in Damasak to flee. According to a spokesperson for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the majority of humanitarian aid organizations in the area have suspended operations in the area due to the recent bout of insecurity.
South Africa (Security threat level – 4): On 15 April 2021, the U.S. Mission in South Africa issued an Alert regarding roadway security on N1 and N4, which reads in part as follows:
“Location: N4 East between Solomon Mahlangu on-ramp and the Diamond Hill Toll Plaza, as well as the N4 West towards Rustenburg from the N1 interchange.
“Event: Police and media report criminals have used homemade devices placed in roadways to disable vehicle tires on N4 East between Solomon Mahlangu on-ramp and the Diamond Hill Toll Plaza, as well as the N4 West towards Rustenburg from the N1 interchange. The intention is to rob motorists who pull over after their vehicles are disabled.
“Actions to Take:
Ukraine (Security threat level – 4): On 15 April 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:
“Location: Crimea and eastern parts of Donetsk and Luhansk
“Event: The Embassy of the United States of America in Ukraine continues to monitor the situation with Russia in occupied Crimea, and along Ukraine’s borders, where security conditions may change with little or no notice. The Level Four – Do Not Travel guidance remains in effect for Crimea due to abuses by Russian occupation authorities, and for the eastern parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts due to armed conflict. Please check our website and social media pages for the latest statements from U.S. officials.”
The full text of the alert is available here.