China (Security threat level – 3) : At approximately 0810 local time (0010 UTC) on 12 May 2022, a commercial aircraft with 113 passengers and nine crew members on board caught fire after skidding off the runway during takeoff at Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (ZUCK/CKG) in southwestern China. The Airbus A319-115 aircraft operated by Tibet Airlines was performing flight TV9833 from Chongqing to the city of Nyingchi, located in the Tibet region, when the episode occurred. According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the flight crew detected an abnormality with the aircraft and aborted the takeoff, resulting in the event. All people aboard were evacuated from the aircraft. At least 36 people suffered injuries and were sent to local hospitals for medical treatment. There were no reports of fatalities. The runway was temporarily shut down as emergency crews extinguished the blaze and removed the aircraft from the site.
North Korea (Security threat level – 3): On 12 May 2022, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered a nationwide lockdown following the first acknowledged COVID-19 case in the country. Local government authorities were instructed to lock down cities and counties while local businesses were separated into units in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. Residents have been ordered to isolate in their homes, and the movement of vehicle traffic and public transportation in the capital Pyongyang has been severely curtailed. It is not known how long the nationwide lockdown is expected to last.
North Korea / South Korea / Japan (Security threat levels – 3 / 2 / 1): South Korean military officials stated that North Korea test-fired three short-range ballistic missiles toward the East Sea on 12 May 2022. The projectiles — launched from the Sunan area of the North Korean capital Pyongyang — traveled approximately 360 km (225 mi) while reaching an altitude of approximately 90 km and landed in waters outside the Japanese exclusive economic zone. The missiles caused no damage to water vessels or aircraft. These latest missile firings represent the 16th round of such tests in 2022 and follow the testing of a suspected submarine-launched ballistic missile on 7 May.
Greece (Security threat level – 2): On 11 May 2022, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Greece to include the following: “On Thursday 12 May, major anti-NATO protests are planned in Athens and several other towns and cities in Greece. These are likely to be disruptive from approximately 6pm. You should expect heavier than usual traffic and severe delays.
“In Athens, protesters are expected to gather from around 6pm in Kaniggos Square, Omonia Square, Korai Square and Panepistimou. From 6:30pm they will gather in Syntagma Square. The Metro may be closed by the Greek authorities at the main assembly areas.
“In other areas of Greece, protests are scheduled to take place at (all times local):
Honduras (Security threat level – 4): On 11 May 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Due to ongoing transportation protests against high fuel prices, Honduras continues to experience issues with major roadways being blocked or heavily restricting movement. Some of the protest sites include:
“The protests have stopped fuel trucks from resupplying gas stations throughout the country. There are reports of stations running out of fuel and long lines of cars at stations that have fuel, including in Tegucigalpa. If the protest continues, there may be an impact on the availability of other goods at stores.”
The full text of the alert is available here.
Nepal (Security threat level – 3): On 12 May 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu issued an Emergency Alert regarding upcoming local elections, which reads in part as follows: “Elections will be held nationwide in Nepal on Friday, May 13. This is the largest electoral event in the history of Nepal; over 200,000 security personnel will be deployed to help ensure safety and security.
“The Government of Nepal will prohibit public transportation and private cars, trucks, motorcycles, and scooters from driving on roads on election day. Vehicle restrictions will begin at midnight and continue for a full 24 hours.
“Most businesses will be closed on election day. If you do decide to walk on the streets, carry your identification card and be aware of your surroundings. If you are out and encounter a security roadblock, please keep in mind that some officials may not have received complete information on what is permissible and may act on their own accord. Do not engage in argumentative or combative behavior if challenged or told that you cannot access a certain area.”
The full text of the alert, which includes additional information regarding travel restrictions and security concerns, is available here.
Panama (Security threat level – 3): On 11 May 2022, the U.S. Mission to Panama issued a Security Alert regarding movement restrictions, which reads in part as follows: “In light of ongoing protest activity and insecurity in the city of Colón, U.S. Embassy Panama City is restricting Mission personnel from traveling to the city of Colón until further notice. Panamanian National Police (PNP) contacts report that criminal elements are intent on inciting violence by infiltrating organized protest activity. Police and criminal elements are openly clashing in the streets of Colón. There is an ongoing large-scale security operation underway to restore security to the city. The PNP has instituted a 6:00 p.m. curfew for the city. U.S. citizens are reminded to take reasonable precautions when traveling in Panama.”