Worldview Security Report – March 13, 2019
13-Mar-19

ASIA

Pakistan (Security threat level – 5): On 13 March 2019, the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan issued a revised Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) in which it advised that the country’s airspace will remain closed to transit flights until 1500 local time (1000 UTC) on 14 March. Authorities did not give an explanation for the extension of the airspace closure. UnitedHealthcare Global will discontinue daily updates on Pakistan’s airspace closure in Hot Spots, but will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates when the situation changes.

Sri Lanka (Security threat level – 3): On 13 March 2019, the Inter-University Students’ Federation staged a demonstration in Colombo along Parliament Road to protest against anti-terrorism legislation. Police officers fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters after they forced their way through a police cordon and attempted to reach Parliament. The organizer of the protest was later arrested. Traffic disruptions were reported in the vicinity of Parliament, as well as along Horton Place road.

EUROPE

Belgium (Security threat level – 3): At 0800 local time (0700 UTC) on 13 March 2019, operations resumed at airports across Belgium after air traffic controllers (ATC) ended their warning strike carried out overnight on 12-13 March. The strike took place at different times at several Belgian airports: including at Brussels-Zaventem International Airport (EBBR/BRU) from 2200 local time (2100 UTC) on 12 March to 0000 local time on 13 March; at Ostend-Bruges International Airport (EBOS/OST) from 0000 to 0200 local time on 13 March; at Liège Airport (EBLG/LGG) from 0200 to 0400 local time on 13 March; and, at Brussels South Charleroi Airport (EBCI/CRL) from 0600 to 0800 local time on 13 March. Officials stated that 16 departing flights from Brussels South Charleroi Airport were delayed as a result of the strike and warned of additional potential delays throughout 13 March.

France (Security threat level – 3): On 13 March 2019, Eurostar warned its passengers not to travel out of Paris Gare du Nord station due to an ongoing French customs officers strike. Customs workers have implemented a “go slow” strike, resulting in long lines at border controls; several Eurostar services out of Paris have been delayed for up to four hours, while others have been canceled. Disruptions to Eurostar services have also been reported at Gare du Lille Europe. Customs officers at Gare du Nord began the strike on 6 March to demand higher pay and greater resources to deal with the impact of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.

Germany (Security threat level – 3): According to reports on 13 March 2019, bus services in Berlin will face significant disruptions on 14 March due to a strike over pay and working conditions. The Ver.di union called for bus drivers and workers associated with bus operations, such as mechanics, to strike from 0330 to 2200 local time (0230 to 2100 UTC). Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), the main public transportation operator in Berlin, warned that there will be considerable disruptions to bus services on 14 March, including the potential for no buses to operate during the strike period; services are expected to resume on 15 March. Other modes of transportation in Berlin, including the U-Bahn, S-Bahn and tram lines, are expected to be busier than normal during the labor action.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Mozambique (Security threat level – 3): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), as of 0900 UTC on 13 March 2019, Tropical Cyclone Idai was located approximately 280 km (175 mi) north-northeast of Europa Island in the Mozambique Channel and was moving southwest at a speed of 13 kph (8 mph). At that time, the storm was generating maximum sustained winds of 176 kph, with gusts of up to 213 kph. Flooding from Idai has already affected at least 141,000 people and resulted in at least 66 deaths. Meanwhile, authorities have declared a “red alert” for Mozambique’s central provinces of Manica, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia, due to flooding and the approaching storm; they have also issued evacuation orders for coastal areas that are likely to be affected by the cyclone. A red alert activates Emergency Operational Centers, mobilizes funds for emergency relief and triggers emergency measures to relocate individuals residing in at-risk areas. Idai is projected to make landfall near Beira, Mozambique, late on 14 March or early on 15 March. Meteorologists predict that Idai will affect central Mozambique with strong winds, large waves and heavy rainfall until at least 15 March.




GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Malawi (Security threat level – 3): On 12 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Lilongwe issued a Weather Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location:
  • “Impacted districts include:
    • Dedza,
      Balaka,
      Machinga,
      Zomba.
      Neno,
      Blantyre,
      Chiradzulu,
      Mulanje,
      Phalombe,
      Mwanza,
      Chikwawa,
      Thyolo,
      Nsanje
  • “Event: The Government of Malawi has declared a state of emergency due to severe flooding in the south, affecting thirteen districts. This flooding has resulted in significant loss of life, substantial property damage, and the widespread displacement of local residents.
  • “Actions to Take:
    • Find an alternate route or delay your travel.
      Consider if you have adequate food, water, and medical supplies in the event of flooding, accident, or vehicle break down.
      Consider how to call for help in an emergency. The ongoing natural disaster has strained cell networks in southern Malawi and they may not be reliably available.”

    Switzerland (Security threat level – 2): On 13 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Bern issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Geneva, Lausanne, Fribourg, Neuchatel, Sion, and Jura, Switzerland (Possibly other cities)
  • “Event: Planned demonstrations related to climate change are expected to take place in a variety of locations around Switzerland on Friday, March 15, 2019 between 10:30 and 17:00. Sites include: Geneva, Lausanne, Fribourg, Neuchatel, Sion, and Jura. Other cities may be added.
  • “A separate demonstration related to UN policy is expected to take place at the United Nations in Geneva on Monday, March 18, 2019 between 09:00 and 18:00.
  • “Expect moderate to severe traffic disruptions during these demonstrations.”

  • Venezuela (Security threat level – 4): On 12 March 2019, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated Travel Advisory for Venezuela. While the overall Travel Advisory Level remains at a “Level 4: Do Not Travel,” part of the language within the advisory has been changed to the following:

  • “On March 11, 2019, the U.S. Department of State announced the temporary suspension of operations of the U.S. Embassy in Caracas and the withdrawal of diplomatic personnel from Venezuela. The U.S. Embassy in Caracas is not providing any consular services. U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Venezuela should depart Venezuela. Commercial flights remain available.”

  • Security threat levels range from 1 (Very Low) to 5 (Very High) and are determined using a comprehensive system that utilizes both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The primary factors used to determine a location’s security threat level are Armed Conflict, Crime, Demonstrations/Strikes, Ethnic/Sectarian Tensions, Graft/Corruption, Kidnapping, Political Instability, Government Restriction and Terrorism.