AMERICAS Ecuador (Security threat level – 3): On the evening...
Ecuador (Security threat level – 3): On 31 January 2022, heavy rainfall caused widespread flooding in the capital Quito, inundating streets in multiple areas of the city. The northern neighborhoods of La Comuna and La Gasca were among those worst affected. A significant mudslide in the La Gasca area destroyed at least eight homes and swept away several vehicles. At least 11 people were killed and 42 others were injured. An additional 16 people remain missing. Authorities have deployed emergency crews to conduct rescue and recovery efforts.
Myanmar (Security threat level – 4): On 1 February 2022, opponents of Myanmar’s current military rule staged a countrywide “silent strike” to mark the one-year anniversary of the military coup. Residents remained in their homes, and businesses suspended operations during 1000-1600 local time (0330-1130 UTC) to observe the strike. Meanwhile, an explosion occurred in the eastern town of Tachileik — located along the country’s border with Thailand — during a rally organized to show support for the military junta. Two people were reportedly killed in the explosion and 30 others were wounded. The military ousted the government of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, citing alleged voter fraud during the November 2020 elections. Since the coup, at least 1,500 civilians have been killed during anti-junta protests that occurred throughout 2021, and approximately 11,000 more have been arrested.
Madagascar / Mauritius (Security threat levels – 3 / 1): As of 0300 UTC on 1 February 2022, Tropical Cyclone Batsirai was located approximately 670 km (415 mi) northeast of Port Louis, Mauritius, and was moving southwest at 13 kph (8 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Batsirai was generating maximum sustained winds of 140 kph, with gusts of up to 167 kph. On its current path, the storm is expected to pass near Mauritius and the French overseas department of Reunion during 2-3 February before making landfall in central Madagascar by 6 February. Authorities in Mauritius have issued a cyclone warning class III — the second-highest alert level on a four-tier scale — due to expected strong winds. Authorities have warned that Batsirai will likely continue to strengthen ahead of landfall and generate significant rains.
Belarus (Security threat level – 3): On 31 January 2022, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated Travel Advisory for Belarus, which reads in part as follows: “Do not Travel to Belarus due to the arbitrary enforcement of laws, the risk of detention, and unusual and concerning Russian military buildup along Belarus’ border with Ukraine. Reconsider travel due to COVID-19 and related entry restrictions.
“On January 31, 2022, the Department of State ordered the departure of family members of U.S. government employees.
“Due to an increase in unusual and concerning Russian military activity near the border with Ukraine, U.S. citizens located in or considering travel to Belarus should be aware that the situation is unpredictable and there is heightened tension in the region. On January 23, 2022, the Department of State also authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. direct hire employees (USDH) and ordered the departure of eligible family members (EFM) from Embassy Kyiv due to the continued threat of Russian military action. Potential harassment targeted specifically at foreigners is also possible. Given the heightened volatility of the situation, U.S. citizens are strongly advised against traveling to Belarus.
“The U.S. government’s ability to provide routine or emergency services to U.S. citizens in Belarus is already severely limited due to Belarusian government limitations on U.S. Embassy staffing.
“The U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens to exercise increased awareness and vigilance regarding political and military tensions in the region. U.S. citizens are advised to avoid public demonstrations and to regularly reevaluate possible departure plans in the event of an emergency.”
The full text of the Travel Advisory is available here.
South Pacific Islands (Security threat level – 1): On 31 January 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby issued a Health Alert regarding a new nightly curfew in Solomon Islands, which reads in part as follows: “A curfew is in effect for the Honiara Emergency Zone from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. daily, until further notice, due to ongoing community transmission of COVID-19. Domestic passenger flights remain suspended. Limited international flights are available for pre-approved passengers. Additional restrictions in other locations throughout the Solomon Islands are possible and may be enacted with little advance notice.”