Lesser Antilles (Security threat level – 1): As of approximately 1435 local time (1835 UTC) on 19 April 2021, volcanic ash plumes that had been emanating from La Soufriere volcano on the island of St. Vincent were no longer being detected, according to the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Washington. At latest report, previous volcanic ash plumes have dissipated from the atmosphere. Experts forecast that during the next 12 hours the volcano is unlikely to produce new volcanic ash plumes.
Some services remain interrupted amid cleanup efforts. Water shortages continue, as most supplies on the island of St. Vincent have been contaminated with volcanic ash. Argyle International Airport (TVSA/SVD), located on St. Vincent, had been expected to resume operations at 1600 local time on 19 April, although local media outlets report that it did not. There is no additional information as to when the airport is expected to reopen. Various countries, such as Grenada, have sent police officers to assist in humanitarian operations on St. Vincent. Elsewhere, some areas on the island of Barbados are facing water shortages after volcanic ash contaminated all available water sources. Grantley Adams International Airport (TBPB/BGI) in Barbados has reopened, and the port of Bridgetown has also reopened after operations were suspended due to volcanic activity.
India (Security threat level – 3): On 20 April 2021, authorities in Uttar Pradesh state announced that a statewide lockdown will be in effect from 2000 local time (1430 UTC) on 23 April until 0700 local time on 26 April. Following the weekend lockdown, districts that have more than 500 active COVID-19 cases will impose a nightly 2000-0700 local time curfew. During the lockdown period, residents are only allowed to leave their homes for essential purposes, and nonessential businesses are required to close.
Philippines (Security threat level – 4): As of 0900 UTC on 20 April 2021, Typhoon Surigae — locally known as Bising — was located approximately 555 km (345 mi) east-northeast of the capital Manila and was moving north-northwest at a speed of 9 kph (6 mph). At that time, Surigae was generating maximum sustained winds of 212 kph, with gusts of up to 260 kph. The storm is forecast to continue on its current path before shifting east toward open ocean by 22 April, where it is expected to gradually weaken before dissipating. At least two people died on 19-20 April as Surigae generated strong winds and heavy rainfall near the country’s eastern areas. Damage was also reported in the Caraga region of Mindanao island. Power disruptions were reported in 63 cities and towns affected by the storm. Adverse weather is likely to continue through 21 April in northeastern areas of Luzon island as the storm passes nearby.
Chad (Security threat level – 5): On 20 April 2021, a spokesperson for the Chadian armed forces announced that President Idriss Déby Itno has succumbed to wounds he suffered during battles with the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) rebel group. According to the spokesperson, Mahamat Kaka — Deby’s son and a military general — will lead a ruling transitional military council for 18 months. The transitional council has enacted a nightly curfew from 1800 to 0500 local time (1700-0400 UTC) and dissolved the constitution and the National Assembly. The council also announced the closure of land and air borders, although land borders were already shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional details regarding the newly announced closures were not immediately available. The army has stated that new elections will follow the 18-month transitional period. The announcement of Deby’s death came hours after he was declared the winner of the presidential election held on 11 April. Deby reportedly secured 79% of the vote and would have started his sixth term in office; he initially came to power in 1990 through an armed revolt.
Although the surprising announcement of Deby’s death came hours after he was reelected to office and circumstances surrounding his death are unclear, Deby — a former army commander-in-chief — was known to visit troops in the battlefield. On 19 April Deby’s campaign officials had stated that he would join the military at the frontlines of the conflict with FACT militants. The rebel group on the same day stated that its militants were retreating northward following several days of clashes with Chadian armed forces in Kanem province. FACT leaders referred to the move as a “strategic withdrawal” in order to reassess plans to continue advancing southward toward the capital N’Djamena.
Costa Rica (Security threat level – 3): On 19 April 2021, the U.S. Embassy in San José issued a Travel Alert regarding the reinstatement of nationwide weekend driving restrictions, which reads in part as follows: “Costa Rica’s Office of the President has announced that nationwide weekend driving restrictions will be reinstated as of Saturday, April 17, 2021. See below for a complete list of current COVID-19 related restrictions.
Jamaica (Security threat level – 3): On 20 April 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Jamaica, which reads in part as follows: “The following measures apply to travellers to Jamaica:
Tunisia (Security threat level – 3): On 19 April 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Tunis issued a Health Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Effective April 18, 2021, the Government of Tunisia announced the following new or updated COVID-19 mitigation measures:
U.S. citizens are required to comply with the curfew hours, during which all non-emergency movements are prohibited.”