ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
Russia (Security threat level – 5): On 25 September 2022, local media sources reported that the Russian government plans to prohibit men eligible for mobilization from leaving Russia following President Vladmir Putin’s call for a partial mobilization of the military’s reserve forces. The ban is reportedly expected to come into effect on 28 September after referendums were staged to annex the Russian-occupied eastern Ukrainian provinces of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia into the Russian Federation. Men of conscription age — those who are between ages 18 to 27 with at least a year of military or other combat experience — wishing to depart Russia on or after 28 September will need to acquire exit visas from the military prior to travel.
Sri Lanka (Security threat level – 3): On 24 September 2022, police officers fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse supporters of the Socialist Youth Union near the Lipton Roundabout in central Colombo. Hundreds of demonstrators had gathered in the city to protest President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s 24 September declaration banning protest activities near designated “high security zones” in Colombo — which includes the president’s office, Parliament and the Supreme Court building — as well as to demand the release of detained anti-government activists. Police officers blocked the demonstrators as they attempted to march from Dean’s road to the Colombo Fort railway station. Physical altercations ensued between riot police and demonstrators. Authorities reportedly arrested 84 people during the demonstration.
Panama (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 2115 local time on 25 September 2022 (0215 UTC on 26 September), Copa Airlines flight CM 135 skidded off the runway upon landing at Tocumen International Airport (MPTO/PTY) in Panama City. The Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which originated in Mexico City, came to a halt on a grassy area adjacent to the runway. Following the incident, all passengers and crew members disembarked the aircraft without any significant injuries. Flight operations at the airport were temporarily disrupted following the incident. Heavy rainfall and strong winds were reported in the area at the time of the incident.
France (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 0300 local time (0100 UTC) on 24 September 2022, French transportation officials announced the indefinite closure of Montpellier–Méditerranée Airport (LFMT/MPL) after a Boeing 737 cargo aircraft overshot the airport’s runway. According to local officials, an aircraft operated by the West Atlantic company slid off the runway and partially submerged in a nearby pond. Emergency personnel rescued all three crew members aboard the aircraft. No injuries were reported. Flight operations at the airport will remain suspended until the aircraft is removed from the site. Passengers with previously booked travel through the airport should contact the airlines regarding flight updates.
United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): On 25 September 2022, clashes broke out between protesters and police officers during a demonstration against the Iranian government outside the Iranian Embassy, located in the central London neighborhood of Knightsbridge. The protesters threw stones and other projectiles at the officers and briefly breached police barricades; however, police officers stopped the protesters from reaching the embassy grounds. Police officers also dispersed protesters who had gathered in front of the Marble Arch. Five police officers suffered serious injuries in the violence and were hospitalized for treatment. Authorities arrested 12 people during the event.
Greece / Iran (Security threat levels – 2 / 5): On 25 September 2022, two unidentified individuals threw Molotov cocktails over the walls of the Iranian Embassy in Athens, located in the Psychiko neighborhood. According to local authorities, the embassy sustained minimal structural damage and no embassy personnel were injured. The incident coincided with an anti-Iranian government demonstration in Syntagma Square in downtown Athens, during which approximately 200 people gathered to denounce the Iranian government’s violent suppression of nationwide demonstrations following the death of a woman in custody of the morality police in mid-September.
Canada (Security threat level – 2): On 26 September 2022, the Canadian government declared that existing coronavirus-related regulations for inbound travelers will be rescinded as of 1 October. Foreign nationals arriving in Canada will no longer be subject to the vaccination mandate or COVID-19 testing and isolation requirements. Additionally, the requirement for travelers to provide vaccine-related information via the ArriveCan portal will become optional. Further information as outlined by the Canadian government is available here.
Canada (Security threat level – 2): As of 26 September 2022, recovery efforts are underway in eastern Canada following the passage of Post-Tropical Storm Fiona on 24 September. Fiona made landfall in Guysborough County, located in the northeastern part of Nova Scotia province, with maximum sustained winds of 130 kph (80 mph) and gusts of up to 160 kph, causing widespread power outages. As of the latest reports on 26 September, approximately 197,000 customers in the province remain without electricity. Most government offices are closed for the day, and schools in the northeastern areas have suspended classes. The town of Channel-Port Aux Basques, located on the southern coast of Newfoundland, sustained the worst damage; more than 20 homes were destroyed and over 200 people sought refuge in temporary shelters. At least one storm-related death was reported on Prince Edward Island. Military personnel are being deployed to the region to assist with ongoing recovery efforts.
Cayman Islands / Cuba / United States (Security threat levels – 2 / 2 / 2): During the early hours of 26 September 2022, Ian strengthened into a Category 1 storm as it tracked toward Cuba. As of 0800 local time (1200 UTC) on 26 September, Hurricane Ian was located approximately 145 km (90 mi) west-southwest of Grand Cayman Island and was moving northwest at a speed of 22 kph (14 mph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, Ian had maximum sustained winds of 120 kph, with higher gusts. The hurricane is projected to strengthen rapidly on 26 September and pass west of the Cayman Islands before approaching the western tip of Cuba by the early morning of 27 September. Hurricane Ian is then expected to pass west of the U.S. Florida Keys on the evening of 27 September as it tracks toward the western coast of Florida state. The hurricane is forecast to produce the following amount of rainfall: 75-150 mm (3-6 in) in the Cayman Islands; 125-250 mm in western Cuba; 100-150 mm in the U.S. Florida Keys; 200-250 mm in central-western Florida; and 75-200 mm in the rest of the Florida Peninsula. Tornados may occur over 26-27 September in the Florida Keys and in the southern and central areas of the Florida Peninsula. Hurricane-generated swells are creating life-threatening surf and riptide conditions, which are currently affecting the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, and they are projected to spread to the southwestern coast of Cuba, and the coastlines of Belize, Honduras, the western area of Florida, and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The governor of Florida has declared a state of emergency for the entire state in preparation for Hurricane Ian’s arrival.
A Hurricane Warning is currently in effect for Grand Cayman and the Cuban provinces of Isla de Juventud, Pinar del Rio, and Artemisa. A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the Cuban provinces of La Habana, Mayabeque, and Matanzas, as well as in the Florida Keys from Seven Mile Bridge westward to Key West, and Dry Tortugas National Park. A Storm Surge Watch is also in effect for the Florida Keys from the Card Sound Bridge to Key West, from Anclote River to the Card Sound Bridge, as well as for Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida Bay and Tampa Bay. A Hurricane Watch is in place from the community of Englewood to the Anclote River, which includes Tampa Bay. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect in the Cayman Islands for the islands of Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, as well as in Florida from Englewood to the community of Chokoloskee.
Philippines (Security threat level – 4): As of 26 September 2022, more than 8,400 residents have been evacuated from Luzon island’s northeastern region following the landfall of Super Typhoon Noru — locally known as Typhoon Karding — near the coastal town of Burdeos, Quezon province, and another landfall as a typhoon near the town of Dingalan in Aurora province — located approximately 140 km (90 mi) northeast of Manila. On its current path, Noru is tracking west-northwest at approximately 27 kph (16 mph) with maximum sustained winds of 90 kph and higher gusts, according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Noru is forecast to continue westward and weaken as it moves away from Luzon; however, a thunderstorm warning remains in effect for southwestern Luzon island. Noru is expected to intensify as it passes over the West Philippine Sea before making landfall in Vietnam on 27 September.
Heavy rain, significant flooding, and power outages occurred throughout Luzon island in the Philippines, as well as in the capital Manila, as Noru passed over the island. In the Polilo islands — located off the southeastern coast of Luzon island, east of Manila — high storm surges and heavy flooding inundated coastal communities and destroyed dozens of homes. A power outage continues to affect most of the island’s residents. In central Luzon, floodwaters and landslides were reported throughout the region. Meanwhile in the capital Manila, approximately 40 commercial flights were canceled at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (RPLL) and thousands of people were evacuated from low-lying areas of the city. In response to the effects of the super typhoon, several major rail lines — such as Philippine National Railways (PNR), Light Rail Manila Corporations (LRMC) and Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3) — have announced suspensions and changes to rail services throughout Manila, as well as in other areas affected by Noru. Additionally, schools and financial institutions will remain closed on 26 September.
Thailand (Security threat level – 3): On 23 September 2022, health officials announced an end to the national COVID-19 state of emergency in addition to the coronavirus vaccination and testing entry requirements for international travelers amid decreasing numbers of reported COVID-19 cases. Thailand’s COVID-19 state of emergency, which has been in effect since March 2020, will expire on 30 September with prevention measures downgraded to a Level 2 Alert status — which allows for minimum restrictions on gatherings and business operations. Moreover, travelers will no longer be required to present proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results upon arrival in Thailand, effective 1 October, as authorities attempt to revive the local tourism industry and raise it to its pre-pandemic levels.
Colombia (Security threat level – 4): On 23 September 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Bogota issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “The U.S. Embassy is aware of demonstrations that are being planned for Monday, September 26 to protest the increase in gas prices and proposed tax reform. These demonstrations are expected to take place in Bogota, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Cali, Medellin, Ibague, Pereira, Manizales, and Bucaramanga. Exact routes for all demonstrations and marches are subject to change. You may encounter disturbances, traffic detours, and delays associated with these events.”
Israel (Security threat level – 4): On 23 September 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows: “As security incidents often take place without warning, U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. The security environment is complex and can change quickly depending on the political situation and recent events.
“During the high holiday period (September 25 through October 17), there will be increased security, road closures, long lines, and heavy traffic congestion.
“Violent clashes between Palestinians and Israelis have occurred in some parts of Jerusalem and surrounding areas. Violent acts have resulted in death and injury to bystanders, including U.S. citizens. The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to exercise caution in the Old City, particularly around the Damascus, Lion’s, and Herod’s gates. Damascus Gate remains off limits to U.S. government employees and their family members.
“In response to this general threat, Israeli Security Forces (ISF) will be deployed in heavier than usual numbers throughout Israel, but mainly concentrated in Jerusalem near the Old City area. U.S. citizens traveling or touring during this period should expect impromptu roadblocks, inspection and screening areas, and road closures.”
The full text of the alert is available here.
Vietnam (Security threat level – 1): On 26 September 2022, the U.S. Mission in Vietnam issued a Weather Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Typhoon Noru is expected to impact the coast of Vietnam on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 27 and 28, between Khanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces. The current forecast shows the storm setting course west through mainland central localities of Vietnam. Areas between Khanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces should continue to monitor forecasts and prepare for strong winds, rain, mudslides, and floods.”