ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
United States (Security threat level – 2): On 3 February 2022, a severe winter storm that is affecting a large area from the Midwest to southern regions of the U.S. has resulted in significant flight cancellations. As of last report, nearly 4,000 flights have been canceled at airports across the country and about 3,700 others are experiencing delays. In northern Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (KDFW/DFW) is currently closed and approximately 80% of flights scheduled to operate through nearby Dallas Love Field Airport (KDAL/DAL) have been canceled for the day. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is expected to reopen at 1100 local time (1700 UTC). In addition, most planned flights at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (KAUS/AUS) have been canceled. Further flight delays and cancellations are likely. More than 63,000 homes and businesses in Texas are currently without electricity. Freezing conditions in the state are forecast to last until 4 February.
South Pacific Islands (Security threat level – 1): On the evening of 2 February 2022, Tonga’s Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni imposed a nationwide coronavirus-related lockdown until further notice after two port workers assisting with recovery efforts following the eruption of the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha’apai volcano and subsequent tsunami tested positive for COVID-19. Under the measures, inter-island travel is banned and schools will remain closed. Authorities will review the situation every 48 hours.
Sweden (Security threat level – 2): On 3 February 2022, the Swedish government announced that it will lift almost all existing coronavirus-related restrictions as of 9 February. The measures set to be annulled include restrictions on gatherings, public events and a requirement for bars, restaurants and other entertainment venues to close nightly by 2300 local time (2200 UTC).
Syria (Security threat level – 5): On 3 February 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden announced that U.S. special forces killed Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi — the leader of the Islamic State group — in a counterterrorism operation in the northwestern town of Atmeh, located in Idlib province approximately 50 km (30 mi) west of Aleppo. At least 13 people were reportedly killed during the raid, including some civilians. It is unclear how the civilians were killed. Al-Qurayshi emerged as the militant group’s leader in October 2019 shortly after the U.S. military killed the group’s previous leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in a counterterrorism raid that also occurred in Idlib province.
Burkina Faso (Security threat level – 4): On 2 February 2022, the military junta lifted a nationwide nightly curfew that was imposed following the government takeover on 24 January. However, public celebrations remain banned after 0000 local time/UTC Monday through Thursday and after 0200 local time Friday through Sunday until further notice. The country’s land borders have also reopened. In related developments, junta leader Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba appointed several new military officials, including Colonel-Major David Kabre as the chief of general staff of the armed forces and Colonel Adam Nere as the chief of staff of the National Gendarmerie.
Mauritius (Security threat level – 1): As of 0300 UTC on 3 February 2022, Tropical Cyclone Batsirai was located approximately 160 km (100 mi) north-northeast of Saint-Denis, the capital of the French overseas department of Reunion, and was moving west-southwest at 7 kph (5 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Batsirai was generating maximum sustained winds of 213 kph, with gusts of up to 260 kph. On its current path, the storm is still expected to make landfall in eastern Madagascar on 5 February.
In related developments, Mauritius Meteorological Services has lifted its cyclone warning. However, authorities warn that heavy rainfall and strong winds are likely to continue through the evening hours of 3 February. Emergency personnel are working to clear debris and restore power in affected areas.
In Reunion, authorities issued a “red alert,” the second highest level on a four-tier scale, ordering residents to remain indoors. At least 12 people were injured in related events as the cyclone passed by, including 10 who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning. Roland Garros Airport (FMEE/RUN) remains closed until further notice.