ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
Cuba / United States (Security threat levels – 2 / 2): At approximately 0430 local time (0830 UTC) on 27 September 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall as a Category 3 storm near the Cuban town of La Coloma in Pinar Del Rio province, located approximately 150 km (100 mi) southwest of Havana. As of 0800 local time, Hurricane Ian was located about 15 km north-northeast of the city of Pinar del Rio, the provincial capital, and approximately 240 km south-southwest of Dry Tortugas National Park in the U.S. Florida Keys, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, Ian had maximum sustained winds of 205 kph (125 mph), with higher gusts, and was moving north at a speed of 19 kph. The hurricane is projected to continue north, slightly decelerating and strengthening as it passes west of the Florida Keys on the evening of 27 September. Ian is then expected to approach the western coast of Florida on 28 September as a Category 3 storm or higher.
In Cuba, authorities suspended flight operations at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport (MUHA/HAV) at 2200 local time on 26 September; the airport is currently scheduled to remain closed until 0001 local time on 28 September. Approximately 50,000 residents were evacuated from their homes in Pinar del Rio province — where 55 temporary shelters have been set up.
Meanwhile in the United States, President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration for the state of Florida in order to release federal resources in preparation for the effects of Hurricane Ian. The governor of Florida has activated 5,000 National Guard personnel to assist with disaster recovery efforts; 2,000 additional soldiers from the states of Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee are ready to support recovery efforts. Tampa International Airport (KTPA/TRP) will suspend operations starting at 1700 local time on 27 September ahead of the hurricane’s arrival, while nearby St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (KPIE/PIE) will completely shut down as of 1300 local time. Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for several communities located near Tampa Bay.
The hurricane is forecast to produce the following amounts of rainfall: 150-300 mm in western Cuba, with isolated totals of 405 mm; 100-150 mm in the U.S. Florida Keys and South Florida; 300-405 mm in central-western Florida, with isolated totals of 610 mm; 75-200 mm in northeastern Florida; and 130-250 mm in the rest of the central Florida Peninsula. Tornadoes may develop in the Florida Keys, as well as in the southern and central areas of the Florida Peninsula, through 28 September. Hurricane-generated swells are creating life-threatening surf and riptide conditions, which are currently affecting the western Caribbean, and will affect the Florida Keys and eastern Gulf of Mexico later on 27 September.
A Hurricane Warning is currently in effect for the Cuban provinces of Isla de Juventud, Pinar del Rio, and Artemisa, as well as for the U.S. state of Florida from Bonita Beach to the Anclote River — which includes Tampa Bay — and Dry Tortugas National Park. A Storm Surge Warning is in effect in Florida from Anclote River to the Flamingo area and for Tampa Bay. 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, from the Flamingo area to Bonita Beach, from the Suwannee River to the Anclote River, from the Volusia-Brevard County border to the Jupiter Inlet, and for Lake Okeechobee. 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 the following areas: Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida Bay, from the Aucilla River to the Anclote River, from Altamaha Sound to the Flagler-Volusia County border, and the Saint John’s River. 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 for areas situated north of the Suwannee River to Indian Pass, from Altamaha Sound to the Volusia-Brevard County border, and from Deerfield Beach to Jupiter Inlet.
Argentina (Security threat level – 3): The Association of State Workers (ATE) has organized a 24-hour countrywide labor strike in Argentina on 27 September 2022, calling for increased wages and permanent employment for more than 30,000 workers. The strike is causing significant flight disruptions across airports in the country. Local reports indicate that hundreds of passengers are stranded at the two main airports that serve Buenos Aires — Ministro Pistarini International Airport (SAEZ/EZE) and Jorge Newbery Airfield (SABE/AEP) — where a total of 12 flights have already been canceled. Additionally, Rosario-Islas Malvinas International Airport (SAAR/ROS) has halted all scheduled flights for the day.
Vietnam (Security threat level – 1): On 27 September 2022, the U.S. Mission in Vietnam issued an updated Weather Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Typhoon Noru continues its path towards the coast of Vietnam and is expected to make landfall between September 27 and September 28. People located in areas between Khanh Hoa and Nghe An should continue to monitor the forecast and prepare for strong winds, rain, mudslides, and floods.
“Vietnamese authorities have announced the closure of airports in Da Nang, Hue, Chu Lai (Quang Nam Province), Phu Cat (Binh Dinh Province), and Pleiku (Gia Lai) on September 27 and September 28. Note that authorities are likely to close additional airports in the central region as the storm approaches. The city of Da Nang has announced the closure of schools and stores and will implement a citywide curfew starting at 8:00 p.m. on September 27 until further notice. Quang Nam will implement a curfew starting at 6:00 p.m. and other localities may introduce similar restrictions. Officials in the region have announced plans for possible evacuations of residents of low-lying areas as needed.”