ASIA Afghanistan (Security threat level – 5): On 8 October...
Dominican Republic (Security threat level – 3): On 15 September 2021, a demonstration to demand improved health care coverage and social security system reforms is scheduled to take place in the capital Santo Domingo beginning at 1600 local time (2000 UTC). The protesters, including members of the Marcha Verde civic group, plan to gather at various intersections in the city. More than 30 unions and organizations support the demand for reforms and may join the protest. Travelers in the city should plan for probable transit delays.
Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On 14 September 2021, authorities rescued 22 foreigners, including Cuban and Haitian nationals, who were kidnapped earlier in the day from a hotel in the city of Matehuala, located in the central state of San Luis Potosí, approximately 195 km (120 mi) north of the state capital of the same name. Reports indicate that a group of gunmen arrived in three vans, raided the hotel and kidnapped the suspected migrants, along with 16 Mexican nationals. The gunmen released the Mexican nationals shortly after the raid. Meanwhile, authorities rescued the foreigners from a remote area just off the road between the cities of Matehuala and San Luis Potosí. Authorities did not offer details regarding the rescue and it is unknown if any injuries were incurred during the operation.
United States (Security threat level – 2): As of 15 September 2021, recovery efforts are underway in southeastern Texas following the passage of Hurricane Nicholas the previous day. The latest reports indicate that more than 115,000 homes and businesses in the region remain without electricity as emergency crews work to restore power. Although downed trees and utility poles were reported across the Houston metropolitan area, the storm did not cause significant damage. There were no reports of serious injuries or deaths due to the storm. Nearly 400 flights were canceled at the two major airports in Houston — George Bush Intercontinental Airport (KIAH/IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (KHOU/HOU) — during 13-14 September.
Nicholas weakened into a tropical storm following landfall and was further downgraded to a tropical depression on the afternoon of 14 September. As of 0400 local time (0900 UTC) on 15 September, Tropical Depression Nicholas was located about 15 mi (25 km) north-northeast of Port Arthur, Texas, and about 35 miles west of Lake Charles, Louisiana, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, the storm was moving east at a speed of 3 mph (6 kph) and had maximum sustained winds of 30 mph, with higher gusts. On its current forecast path, Nicholas will continue to gradually move in the same direction on 15 September, briefly become stationary and resume a very slow movement the following day. The storm is anticipated to continue weakening and dissipate during the nighttime hours of 16 September or on 17 September.
Nicholas is forecast to produce an additional 3-6 in (75-150 mm) of rain, with isolated maximums of up to 10 inches, across the central Gulf Coast from south-central to southeastern Louisiana, southern parts of Alabama and Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle through 17 September. Hazardous flash floods are likely across these regions, especially in urban centers. Flash Flood Watches are currently in effect along the central Gulf Coast in southern parts of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, as well in the Florida Panhandle.
Japan / South Korea (Security threat levels – 1 / 2): As of 0900 UTC on 15 September 2021, Tropical Storm Chanthu — which had weakened from a typhoon — was located approximately 460 km (285 mi) southwest of Sasebo, Japan, and was moving east-southeast at 7 kph (5 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Chanthu was generating maximum sustained winds of 83 kph, with gusts of up to 102 kph. On its current forecast path, the storm is expected to pass through the Korea Strait during 16-17 September before making landfall near the Japanese city of Shimonoseki later on 17 September. Authorities in South Korea have warned that heavy rainfall and strong winds are likely in southern coastal areas of the country, as well as on the island of Jeju; up to 300 mm (12 in) of rain is forecast on Jeju, while 120 mm of rain is forecast in South Jeolla and Gyeongsang provinces. In Japan, authorities have warned of possible storm surges along coastal areas of Kyushu Island and Yamaguchi prefecture.
Netherlands (Security threat level – 2): On 14 September 2021, authorities announced that proof of vaccination will be required for individuals 13 years of age and older in order to enter certain entertainment venues — including bars, cinemas, clubs, concerts, cultural events, indoor and outdoor festivals, museums or restaurants — beginning on 25 September. Meanwhile, authorities will annul most social distancing requirements the same day. Face masks will remain mandatory inside airports, on public transportation and in schools. Further information as outlined by the Dutch government is available here.
Honduras (Security threat level – 4): On 14 September 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa issued a Security Alert regarding the Honduran National Independence Bicentennial, which reads in part as follows: “Celebrations for the Honduran National Independence Bicentennial will take place on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, with various demonstrations and parades in Tegucigalpa and across the country. Past parades in Tegucigalpa have been largely peaceful, but traffic is expected to be heavy, especially along the parade routes. U.S. citizens are reminded to maintain awareness of their surroundings as the situation may change quickly.”
Timor-Leste (Security threat level – 3): On 14 September 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Timor-Leste, which reads in part as follows: “A State of Emergency is in place in Timor-Leste until 29 September 2021. The government of Timor-Leste has lifted the lockdown in the capital city, Dili. Public transport services have resumed operation in Dili and to other municipalities. A proof of full vaccination must be presented to authorities when using public transport. Passengers must observe health protocols when using transport services. Only fully vaccinated citizens are allowed to enter and leave the capital, Dili. Some restriction rules are relaxed under the current state of emergency. Religious, political, social, cultural, sports events, funeral ceremonies with participation of more than 10 people and other large gatherings are allowed with strict observation of health protocols.”