ASIA Afghanistan (Security threat level – 5): On 8 October...
Mexico (Security threat level – 4) : On the evening of 9 September 2021, Hurricane Olaf made landfall near the tourist destination of San Jose del Cabo in the state of Baja California Sur as a Category 2 hurricane. One person died after a structure collapsed due to flooding from the storm.
During 10-11 September, at least 700 local residents stayed overnight in shelters and approximately 20,000 tourists sheltered in hotels. The storm temporarily knocked out power to almost 200,000 customers in the cities of Los Cabos and La Paz, according to the Federal Electricity Commission. Olaf also downed trees and power lines as well as caused localized flooding. Debris from the storm blocked vehicular access to the highway connecting Los Cabos and the nearby tourist destination of Cabo San Lucas. The ports of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo and the airports of Manuel Márquez de León International Airport (MMLP/LAP) and Los Cabos International Airport (MMSD/SJD), located in La Paz and Los Cabos, respectively, have since resumed operations after temporary closures while Olaf passed. The storm weakened into a remnant low later on 11 September.
Mexico / United States (Security threat levels – 4 / 2): As of 0700 local time (1200 UTC) on 13 September 2021, Tropical Storm Nicholas was located approximately 40 mi (65 km) south-southeast of the mouth of the Rio Grande River, located at the U.S.-Mexico border, and about 210 mi south of Port O’Connor area located in the U.S. state of Texas, and was moving north-northwest at 5 mph (7 kph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, Nicholas was generating maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, with higher gusts.
On its current forecast path, Nicholas will pass near or just offshore the coasts of northeastern Mexico and South Texas during the morning of 13 September and make landfall near the south or central Texas coast on the afternoon or evening of 13 September. The storm is projected to strengthen before moving onshore and may become a hurricane. During 13-15 September, Nicholas is expected to produce 8-16 in (205-405 mm) of rainfall, with isolated maximums of 20 inches across portions of the upper and middle coastal Texas areas, while producing 5-10 inches of rain across the rest of coastal Texas and into southwest Louisiana.
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect in Texas from Port Aransas to Freeport, and also for Aransas Bay, San Antonio Bay and Matagorda Bay. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect in Texas from the mouth of the Rio Grande River to Port Aransas, from San Luis Pass to Rutherford Beach in Louisiana state, which includes Galveston Bay, as well as for Baffin Bay and Corpus Christi Bay. A Hurricane Watch is in effect in Texas from Port Aransas to Freeport. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from the Mouth of the Rio Grande to High Island, Texas, and from Barra el Mezquital, Mexico, to the U.S.-Mexico border. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect in Texas from east of High Island to Sabine Pass.
Afghanistan (Security threat level – 5): On 12 September 2021, Afghan National Police officers returned to work at Kabul International Airport (OAKB/KBL), formerly known as Hamid Karzai International Airport. At least two police officers received calls from senior Taliban commanders asking them to return to work. The Taliban were working with Qatari technical specialists to get the airport – which was badly damaged during the evacuations – operational again.
In related developments, Taliban officials report that the group wishes to integrate the Afghan National Police with their own forces. A Taliban official announced that non-uniformed Taliban forces will be replaced on the streets of Kabul with uniformed Afghan National Police officers, and that the Taliban in Kabul will be redeployed to other provinces.
China (Security threat level – 3): As of 13 September 2021, authorities in the city of Putian, located in Fujian province, have implemented coronavirus-related restrictions after 35 new cases of the virus were reported in the city during 10-12 September. Under the measures, residents are instructed to avoid leaving the city, and 12 out of 20 highways into the city have been blocked. Additionally, venues such as gyms and theaters, cafes, bars, libraries and museums are required to close until further notice. Health officials are also preparing to conduct mass testing in an attempt to isolate positive cases.
China / Taiwan (Security threat levels – 3 / 1): As of 1700 local time (0900 UTC) on 13 September 2021, Typhoon Chanthu was located approximately 190 km (120 mi) east-southeast of Shanghai and was moving north at 31 kph (20 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Chanthu was generating maximum sustained winds of 139 kph, with gusts of up to 167 kph. On its current forecast path, the storm is expected to remain in the East China Sea near Shanghai without making landfall through 16 September before shifting northeast toward South Korea.
Earlier on 13 September, authorities canceled all flights at Shanghai Pudong International Airport (ZSPD/PVG) and Shanghai Hongqiao Airport (ZSSS/SHA) ahead of Chanthu’s arrival. Shanghai city officials also suspended mass transit services in the city’s southern areas and closed parks, outdoor tourist attractions and playgrounds. The province of Zhejiang – located near Shanghai – suspended flights and rail service in some cities, while the container port of Ningbo suspended operations.
During the weekend of 11-12 September, Chanthu passed near Taiwan, producing strong winds and heavy rainfall. Authorities reported 201 instances of storm-related damage, with approximately 75 incidences the result of fallen trees. Officials suspended almost all rail services on the east side of island during the evening of 11 September; services resumed as of the evening of 12 September.
United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): During the early morning hours of 12 September 2021, a driver struck five pedestrians with a car on Rose Street in downtown Edinburgh before colliding with a bus on the nearby Lothian Road. Five people were injured and taken to the hospital in stable condition. Authorities arrested the driver of the vehicle and cordoned-off multiple streets, including sections of Lothian Road up to the West Approach Road intersection and Frederick Street. Authorities described the incident as a hit and run. The driver is expected to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 13 September.
Ethiopia (Security threat level – 4): On 10 September 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice regarding the Oromia region, which reads in part as follows: “There is a threat of kidnapping in western areas of Oromia, particularly West Wollega, East Wollega and Qellem Wollega zones. Recent kidnaps have targeted the mining industry. British Nationals working in the area should avoid regular patterns of travel or movement, and aim to only travel during daylight hours.”