ASIA Afghanistan (Security threat level – 5): On 8 October...
Nicaragua (Security threat level – 4): At approximately 0400 local time (1000 UTC) on 22 September 2021, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake occurred in the Pacific Ocean off the western coast of Nicaragua. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was centered nearly 95 km (60 mi) west-southwest of the city of Chinandega at a depth of 30 km. Light shaking was felt in the capital Managua — located about 160 km away from the quake’s epicenter — as well as in the city of Usulután, El Salvador, which is located about 150 km to the north. At least three aftershocks have been recorded in the region, including a 5.1 magnitude tremor. There were no reports of significant damage or injuries as a result of the quake. No tsunami warning was issued.
Cambodia (Security threat level – 3): On 22 September 2021, authorities extended the existing coronavirus-related lockdown in the capital Phnom Penh for 14 days. Under the order, educational institutions, as well as entertainment venues — such as bars, theaters, gyms, karaoke parlors, museums and casinos — must remain closed. Gatherings of more than 15 people from different households are banned except for funerals, COVID-19 testing sites and meetings of public health officials.
Australia (Security threat level – 2): At approximately 0915 local time on 22 September 2021 (2315 UTC on 21 September), a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck approximately 40 km (25 mi) south of the town of Mount Buller, Victoria, and nearly 130 km east-northeast of the state capital Melbourne, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake struck at a depth of 10 km. Light to moderate shaking was felt across Melbourne, while weak shaking was felt as far away as the cities of Canberra and Sydney. At least five aftershocks were recorded within an hour after the initial quake. At least one building on Chapel Street — which runs along the inner eastern suburbs of Melbourne — was damaged and rubble partially blocked the street. Some residents of northern Melbourne and the central business district briefly lost electricity; however, it was quickly restored. There were no reports of deaths or serious injuries, and no tsunami threat was issued. It was the largest earthquake ever recorded on land in Victoria state.
Australia (Security threat level – 2): On 22 September 2021, demonstrations against the ongoing coronavirus-related lockdown and mandatory COVID-19 vaccines in the construction industry turned violent for a third consecutive day in the southeastern city of Melbourne. An estimated 300 people had gathered near the Shrine of Remembrance in central Melbourne, where a group of individuals threw projectiles at police officers. In response, officers deployed tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the gathering. As protesters fled via nearby streets, a vehicle also crashed into a tram. Two police officers suffered injuries in the violence, and more than 200 individuals were detained. Other smaller groups of demonstrators rallied largely peacefully in the streets of the central business district. While the demonstrations were notably smaller compared to the previous day, authorities anticipate additional rallies in Melbourne in the coming days. Workers in the construction industry resent the Victoria state government’s decision to shut down construction sites in the Melbourne area following the 20 September violent protests, as well as the mandate to have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine before returning to work on 5 October.
Spain (Security threat level – 3): As of 22 September 2021, lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano — which initially erupted on 19 September — has covered 154 hectares (380 acres) of land and has destroyed 320 building structures on the Spanish island of La Palma, according to the EU’s Copernicus Emergency Management service. The lava flow reaches 12 m (40 ft) in height in certain sections and continues to move toward the coastline at a rate of 120 meters per hour. Authorities have evacuated more than 6,000 people in the path of the lava. The lava could create a cloud of toxic gases after it reaches the sea and possibly trigger explosions as the molten rock cools rapidly. Marine authorities have closed off a 2-nautical-mile zone area offshore as a precaution “to prevent onlookers on boats.” During the next 24 hours, a sulfur dioxide cloud is expected to spread across the Canary Islands and reach the southern mainland of Spain, including the city of Murcia, by 24 September.
Ukraine (Security threat level – 4): At approximately 1000 local time (0700 UTC) on 22 September 2021, gunmen opened fire at the car of a senior advisor to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the village of Lisnyky, located on the outskirts of the capital Kyiv. At least 18 gunshots reportedly struck the vehicle; however, the aide escaped unharmed. The vehicle’s driver was wounded in the shooting and is receiving treatment at a hospital. Officials have launched a probe into the attempted assassination of the presential aide. President Zelenskyy is out of the country and is currently attending the U.N. General Assembly in New York City.
Belgium (Security threat level – 3): On 21 September 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Belgium regarding coronavirus-related entry requirements, which reads in part as follows: “Travellers who are staying in Belgium for less than 48 hours must complete the Belgian Passenger Locator Form, but are not required to quarantine or take a test. This does not apply to travellers returning from a third country classified as a very high-risk zone (see the Belgian government’s website).”
Indonesia (Security threat level – 4): On 22 September 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice regarding coronavirus-related restrictions, which reads in part as follows: “Emergency public activity restrictions (PPKM) are in place until 4 October. Throughout the whole of Indonesia. Essential services are available, but many public facilities remain closed. It is mandatory to wear a face mask when outside. Criminal sanctions, including deportation or large fines may apply for violations of the restrictions. Many non-essential businesses are closed and the public are advised to work from home until at least 4 October.
“Public health measures by the Indonesian authorities include restrictions on in-country air travel.”
Laos (Security threat level – 3): On 22 September 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Laos, which reads in part as follows: “Travel restrictions within Laos have been enhanced and extended until 30 September 2021. According to the Lao authorities, travel is permitted between provinces where community transmission has not been identified, in some cases a fourteen day quarantine has been implemented. Consult with provincial COVID-19 Task Forces for guidance. Lao Airlines and Lao Skyways have suspended all domestic flights.
“You should monitor local official announcements for guidance in the latest restrictions. There may be short notice lockdowns introduced in provinces with reports of COVID-19 outbreaks.”
Lesser Antilles (Security threat level – 1): On 21 September 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Grenada, which reads in part as follows: “The State of Emergency has been extended to November 2021. Local regulations are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. These were amended on 3 September to extend the curfew restricting freedom of movement from 7pm to 5am, suspend travel between Grenada and Carriacou, close all day-care centres and restrict beach and river use to the period of 5am to 1pm daily. Additionally, no movement weekends will be in effect from 5pm Friday 24 September to 5am Monday 27 September and again from 5pm Friday 1 October to 5am Monday 4 October. Exceptions will be made for individuals who need to be tested or vaccinated for covid-19 and for individuals who have received written authorization for movement from the police.”