NORTH AMERICA Cuba / United States (Security threat levels –...
Nigeria (Security threat level – 5): On 19 September 2022, hundreds of student demonstrators in Lagos blocked traffic on the main Airport Road and other major roadways near Murtala Muhammed International Airport (DNMM/LOS) to protest an ongoing strike organized by a university staff union to demand higher wages for educators. The demonstrators — affiliated with the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) — used their personal vehicles to prevent motorists from traveling to the airport on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Ibadan-lfe Road. Airport-bound passengers could be seen abandoning their vehicles and proceeding to the airport on foot. There were no instances of violence during the demonstration and operations at the airport were unaffected. The students are protesting disruptions to classes at the country’s universities due to the strike observed by the staff union, which has been ongoing since February 2022.
Georgia (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 1300 local time (0900 UTC) on 20 September 2022, an unidentified individual took at least 12 hostages and allegedly planted explosive devices at a Bank of Georgia branch on Shota Rustaveli Avenue in the city of Kutaisi — located approximately 230 km (140 mi) west of the capital Tbilisi. The man demanded a ransom and set a three-hour time limit for the payment. Security personnel have cordoned off the area around the bank. Authorities are referring to the man’s actions as a “terrorist act.” No injuries have been reported so far; the situation is ongoing.
Japan (Security threat level – 1): On the morning of 20 September 2022, Tropical Storm Nanmadol made landfall for a second time near the city of Niigata — located approximately 250 km (160 mi) northwest of Tokyo — with wind speeds of about 85 kph (50 mph) and higher gusts, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. Following landfall, Nanmadol weakened into an extratropical cyclone and moved out to the Pacific Ocean during the nighttime hours while tracking along the northeastern Japanese coast. Torrential rainfall and multiple landslides occurred throughout Miyazaki prefecture — located approximately 90 km east of Kagoshima – which appears to be the worst-affected area. Additionally, heavy rainfall and flooding were reported throughout Hiroshima, while at least 140,000 households on Kyushu island remain without power. Four people were killed due to the storm and more than 122 others sustained varying degrees of injuries.
Dominican Republic / Turks and Caicos Islands (Security threat levels – 3 / 1): Overnight on 19-20 September 2022, Hurricane Fiona strengthened to become a Category 3 storm after passing over the Dominican Republic. As of 0800 local time (1200 UTC) on 20 September, Fiona was located approximately 15 km (10 mi) northwest of Turks and Caicos’ Grand Turk Island and was moving north-northwest at a speed of approximately of 17 kph (10 mph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At the time, Fiona had maximum sustained winds of 185 kph. The hurricane is expected to strengthen further and produce heavy rains and subsequent flash floods as it passes near the Turks and Caicos Islands during the morning hours of 20 September. Hurricane Fiona is then forecast to curve and track northward on the evening of 20 September. Heavy rainfall and flash flooding will also continue in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico — where more than 80% of homes and businesses remain without electricity. Punta Cana International Airport (MDPC/PUJ) in the Dominican Republic temporarily halted operations on 19 September during the passage of the hurricane.
The hurricane is expected to produce the following additional rainfall: 25-50 mm (1-2 in) in the British and U.S. Virgin Islands; 25-100 mm in southern Puerto Rico and 25-50 mm in northern Puerto Rico; 25-100 mm in the Dominican Republic; 100-200 mm in the Turks and Caicos Islands; and 25-100 mm in the southeastern Bahamas islands. A storm surge may cause water levels in the Turks and Caicos Islands to rise as much as 1.5-2.5 m. Swells producing dangerous surf and riptide conditions will continue to affect the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the northern coastline of Hispaniola island, the Turks and Caicos islands, and the southeastern Bahamas islands. These swells will likely spread to affect the central and northwestern Bahamas and the eastern U.S. coastline through 21 September. A Hurricane Warning is currently in effect for Turks and Caicos Islands. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for several southeastern Bahamas islands, including the islands of Acklins, Crooked, Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana and the Ragged Islands.
Lebanon (Security threat level – 4): On 19 September 2022, protesters attempted to storm the Justice Ministry building in Beirut during a demonstration to demand the release of two depositors being held for armed bank incursions to demand the return of their deposits. According to local officials, the protesters removed the ministry’s metallic gate and blocked traffic along the intersection of Damascus Street and Palace of Justice Street with burning tires before police officers arrived and dispersed the crowd. There were no immediate reports of injuries connected to the incident. Public discontent throughout Lebanon has been heightened in recent weeks due to a deterioration of the country’s prolonged economic crisis coupled with the banks’ decision to refrain from allowing customers to make cash withdrawals as a means of preserving their dwindling hard currency reserves.
Mexico (Security threat level – 4): At 1305 local time (1805 UTC) on 19 September 2022, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck about 37 km southeast of the town of Aquila — located in Michoacán state — at an estimated depth of 15 km, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Moderate shaking was reported in San Patricio village, located more than 175 km away from the epicenter, while weak shaking was reported as far away as the town of Todos Santos, Baja California Sur state, and in the port city of Veracruz, located nearly 910 km and 760 km from the epicenter, respectively. The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami advisory for coastal areas within 300 km (186 mi) of the epicenter with the possibility of tidal waves reaching 1-3 m (3-9 ft) in height. While the threat has since passed, sea levels temporarily rose up to 1.5 m in Manzanillo, Colima state, and in the tourist destination of Acapulco, Guerrero state. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stated on social media that a man was killed due to the quake in Manzanillo after a fence surrounding a shopping center collapsed. Elsewhere in Colima state, a landslide blocked both lanes of traffic on the highway connecting Manzanillo to the city of Colima. Officials in the affected locations activated security protocols, including in the capital Mexico City, as well as in the states of Colima, Jalisco, Michoacan, Mexico and Puebla. In Mexico City, Benito Juarez International Airport (MMMX/MEX) briefly halted flight operations immediately following the quake to conduct safety checks. No damage was detected at the facility. Public transportation services in the city were also momentarily suspended for safety checks. Multiple strong aftershocks have followed the initial tremor but have not caused damage.
Papua New Guinea (Security threat level – 4): On 19 September 2022, authorities implemented security lockdown measures in the town of Goroka in Eastern Highlands province following several incidents of communal violence in neighboring towns. According to local media reports, a group of armed individuals entered Goroka in the early hours of 19 September and attacked people in the nearby Nagamiufa village in retaliation for the 17 September killing of a Papua New Guinea Ports chief executive officer. At least three villagers were injured in the attack. Local residents fled surrounding villages as dozens of businesses shut down amid fears of increasing violence. Operations at Goroka Airport (AYGA/GKA) were also disrupted as dozens of international travelers were reportedly unable to leave the facility due to the lockdown. Local authorities have not yet announced when the heightened security measures are scheduled to conclude.
Venezuela (Security threat level – 5): On 19 September 2022, an explosion occurred at the Petróleos de Venezuela refinery in the northern coastal city of Puerto La Cruz — located in the state of Anzoátegui. Eyewitness reports indicate that lightning caused the initial explosion, which subsequently sparked fires throughout the refinery. At least 500 individuals within the vicinity of the refinery were evacuated. Firefighters were deployed to the facility to extinguish the flames. There were no immediate reports of injuries due to the explosion.
Haiti (Security threat level – 5): On 19 September 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Given the continuing protests in Haiti, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince reminds U.S. citizens that Haiti has the highest Travel Advisory level (Level 4: DO NOT TRAVEL) for kidnapping, crime, and civil unrest. The U.S. government is extremely limited in its ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Haiti. Local police generally lack the resources to respond effectively to requests for assistance. U.S. citizens should carefully consider the risks of traveling to (or remaining in) Haiti in light of the deteriorating security situation and infrastructure challenges. These issues may limit access to essential services in an emergency, including access to banks, money transfers, urgent medical care, internet and telecommunications, and public and private transportation options.”
Slovakia (Security threat level – 2): On 19 September 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Demonstrations against the Slovak government are expected to take place in Bratislava on Tuesday, September 20, 2022. They may draw several thousand participants. U.S. government personnel have been advised to avoid the area.”