ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
China (Security threat level – 3): As of 1700 local time (0900 UTC) on 2 November 2022, Tropical Storm Nalgae (Paeng) was located approximately 165 km (105 mi) south of Hong Kong, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Nalgae was moving northwestward at 9 kph (5 mph), with maximum sustained winds of 83 kph and gusts of up to 102 kph. Nalgae is expected to continue moving toward the southern Chinese coastline in the coming days. On its current path, the storm is forecast to make landfall in southern Guangdong province, west of the city of Macau, on the evening of 3 November.
Nalgae is projected to produce heavy rainfall, strong winds and high sea swells near the southern Chinese coast, which will affect several major cities, including Hong Kong and Macau. On 1 November the Hong Kong Observatory issued a Signal 8 weather advisory — the third-highest storm alert on a five-tier scale — warning residents of strong winds and rough sea swells near the Pearl River basin and along Hong Kong’s shorelines. Storm-related transportation disruptions and flight cancellations are likely in Hong Kong, Macau and throughout Guangdong province in the coming days.
North Korea / South Korea (Security threat levels – 3 / 2): At approximately 0900 local time (0000 UTC) on 2 November 2022, South Korean military officials reported the launch of at least 17 North Korean ballistic missiles toward the Sea of Japan. According to South Korean military officials, one of those missiles landed south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL) — a disputed maritime border off the eastern Korean Peninsula — into South Korea’s exclusive economic zone for the first time since a ceasefire agreement was signed by the two warring sides in 1953. The projectile landed approximately 55 km (35 mi) northeast of the eastern coastal city of Sokcho and about 165 km northwest of Ulleung island. South Korean authorities issued air raid warnings for Ulleung island in response to the launch and advised residents to take refuge in underground shelters.
Several hours after the missile launch, South Korean military responded by launching three air-to-surface missiles that landed in international waters north of the eastern NLL. The projectiles landed approximately 25 km (15 mi) north of South Korea’s sea border. Soon thereafter, the North Korean military fired more than 100 artillery shells toward the NLL. Later in the day, the South Korean military reported an additional six North Korean missile launches toward the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea. The latest escalation of tensions between the two rivals followed the North Korean government’s call for the cessation of U.S. and South Korean joint air, land and sea military exercises known as Vigilant Storm. The joint military exercises began on 1 November and are scheduled to conclude on 4 November.
Belize / Guatemala / Honduras / Mexico (Security threat levels – 3 / 4 / 4 / 4): On 2 November 2022, Tropical Storm Lisa strengthened to become a Category 1 hurricane. As of 0600 local time (1200 UTC), Hurricane Lisa was located approximately 100 km (60 mi) northeast of Roatán island, Honduras, and about 165 km east-southeast of Belize City, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, Lisa was moving westward at 24 kph (15 mph), with maximum sustained winds of 120 kph and higher gusts. On its current path, the hurricane is forecast to pass just north of Honduras’ northern Bay Islands during the morning before making landfall in Belize later in the day. Lisa is then expected to cross northern Guatemala and track into southeastern Mexico by 3 November.
The storm is projected to produce approximately 100-150 mm (4-6 in) of rain in Belize, Honduras’ Bay Islands, northern Guatemala, and the Mexican states of Chiapas and Tabasco, with isolated maximums of more than 250 mm; 50-100 mm of rain across parts of Jamaica, eastern Yucatan Peninsula, northern Honduras and Guatemala, with isolated maximums of up to 150 mm; and 25 mm of rain across the Cayman Islands and eastern Nicaragua, with isolated maximums of up to 50 mm. The heavy rainfall could trigger flash floods across Belize and northern Guatemala, as well as in far-southeastern parts of the Yucatan Peninsula and the eastern areas of Chiapas and Tabasco. Storm-generated swells are likely to produce hazardous surf and riptide conditions in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and coastlines across Central America for the next 48 hours. A Hurricane Warning is currently in effect for the Bay Islands, the Belizean coast and the area reaching from the Mexican city of Chetumal to Puerto Costa Maya. Meanwhile, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the northern coasts of Guatemala and Honduras, as well as from Puerto Costa Maya to Punta Allen in Mexico.
Lebanon (Security threat level – 4): An outbreak of cholera in Lebanon, first reported on 6 October 2022, has worsened and spread rapidly from the north to all of the country’s governorates, according to the World Health Organization (WHO); currently, 18 out of 26 districts are affected. There have been more than 1,400 suspected cases, including 381 laboratory-confirmed cases and 17 deaths, in what is the first cholera outbreak in Lebanon in almost 30 years.
The WHO is working alongside the Ministry of Public Health to secure additional doses of cholera vaccine and, due to a shortage of health care personnel and medical supplies in country, has provided diagnostic tests and treatment kits as well as nurses and doctors to hospitals in the most affected areas. Additional surveillance activities are also in place.
An increase in reported outbreaks has been seen in countries since January 2022, which the WHO reports is due to “floods, droughts, population movement and other factors that limit access to clean water.”
Brazil (Security threat level – 3): On 1 November 2022, incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro delivered a public speech for the first time since losing the 30 October runoff election to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva — candidate of the Workers’ Party. Bolsonaro, who lost by a narrow margin of less than 2 percentage points, did not clearly concede defeat but maintained that he will abide by the constitution. The president’s chief of staff stated that he has been authorized to initiate a transition to the incoming administration. President-elect Lula is scheduled to assume office on 1 January 2023.
Following the election outcome, pro-Bolsonaro truck drivers and other supporters have erected roadblocks on highways across the country, significantly impeding traffic. The Brazilian Association of Airlines has warned that flight disruptions could occur on 2 November due to fuel shortages as a result of highway blockades. The Federal Highway Police have removed more than 600 roadblocks so far, although nearly 160 roadways across the country remain either partially or completely blockaded, particularly in Bolsonaro strongholds such as the states of Mato Grosso and Santa Catarina.
Ecuador (Security threat level – 3): On the evening of 1 November 2022, President Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency and imposed a nightly 2100-0500 local time (0200-1000 UTC) curfew in the provinces of Esmeraldas and Guayas — the latter of which encompasses the city of Guayaquil — to curb a significant escalation in gang-related violence in the two provinces. The emergency declaration, which will be in effect until 15 December, allows the government to enhance security measures and patrols in the affected areas. Gang members carried out six detonations of explosives in Guayaquil during the morning of 1 November, while three other attacks took place in Esmeraldas. At least five police officers were killed in the attacks. Criminal gangs reportedly carried out the attacks in retaliation for prisoner transfers from overcrowded penitentiaries.
Nicaragua (Security threat level – 4): On 1 November 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Managua issued an alert, which reads in part as follows: “On Sunday, November 6, Nicaragua will hold municipal elections throughout the country. We anticipate a large presence of security forces throughout the country this weekend, including an increased number of police checkpoints. Gatherings may occur that could disrupt normal traffic patterns or create other unforeseen complications.
“Out of an abundance of caution, the U.S. Embassy will be restricting some movement for our personnel, including prohibiting travel outside of residential neighborhoods, on Sunday, November 6.”