Worldview Security Report – March 20, 2019
20-Mar-19

AUSTRALASIA

Australia (Security threat level – 2): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, as of 0900 UTC on 20 March 2019, Tropical Cyclone Trevor was located in the Gulf of Carpentaria, approximately 435 km (270 mi) northwest of Cairns, Australia. At that time, the storm was moving west-northwest at a speed of approximately 4 kph (2 mph) and was posting maximum sustained winds of 110 kph (70 mph) with gusts of up to 140 kph. Trevor is currently a Category 2 storm, but it is projected to quickly re-intensify as it moves over the Gulf of Carpentaria. Preliminary forecasts indicate that Trevor could make landfall on the coast of the Northern Territory as a Category 4 storm on 23 March. As such, officials in the Northern Territory have advised residents located along the Northern Territory coast from Groote Eylandt down to the Queensland state border to prepare for potential evacuation. Authorities have already commenced evacuations in Numbulwar, as the community is expected to be severely affected by strong winds and storm surges. Thus far, the storm has downed trees and fences, and knocked down power poles, leaving the communities of Lockhart River, Coen and Aurukun in Queensland state without power on 19 March.

Australia (Security threat level – 2): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, as of 0900 UTC on 20 March 2019, Tropical Cyclone Veronica was located approximately 490 km (300 mi) west-northwest of the town of Broome in Western Australia. At that time, the storm was generating maximum sustained winds of 102 kph with gusts up to 230 kph, and was moving southwest at a speed of 13 kph (8 mph). Current forecasts predict that Tropical Cyclone Veronica will make landfall on the northwestern coast of Western Australia by 25 March. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) has warned residents along Western Australia’s coast between Mardie and Pardoo to prepare for the possibility of dangerous weather conditions.

EUROPE

Belgium (Security threat level – 3): On 20 March 2019, air traffic controllers (ATC) in Belgium went on strike, causing delays across Belgian airspace below 24,500 ft (7,470 m). The industrial action, which began at 0800 local time (0700 UTC), has particularly affected flight operations at Brussels International Airport (EBBR/BRU). Thus far, the strike has not caused any cancellations; however, authorities warned that further disruptions, including delays and cancellations, are possible throughout the day on 20 March. Several unions called for the strike after negotiations broke down with Skeyes, the Belgian air navigation and traffic service provider for civil airspace. Negotiations between Skeyes and the unions over various issues, such as too high a workload for ATC and lack of personnel, are set to continue on 22 March.




GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Honduras (Security threat level – 4): On 19 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa issued an Alert regarding forest fires, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Areas around Tegucigalpa, including La Tigra forest and the zones of Amarateca, El Picacho, El Hatillo, and El Carpintero; Honduras.
  • “Event: A rash of forest fires has affected areas around Tegucigalpa over the past several days. Smoke from the fires has reduced air quality and visibility in and around the capital. There is no impact on embassy operations at this time. Flights arriving and departing Toncontín International Airport have not been affected at this time.”

  • Italy (Security threat level – 3): On 20 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Rome issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: On March 23, 2019, a march will begin at Piazza della Repubblica and end at Piazza di Porta San Giovanni. The route will take marchers through Via Delle Terme di Diocleziano, Via Cavour, Piazza dell’Esquilino, Via Merulana, Viale Alessandro Manzoni, Via Emanuele Filiberto, Piazza di Porta San Giovanni.
  • “Event: Beginning at 3 PM, various environmental protection groups plan a large demonstration to highlight the importance of climate change and pollution to the Italian government. The demonstration is sponsored by various groups. Due to potential security concerns, the police may limit foot and vehicle traffic in or near the areas of the demonstration.”

  • Myanmar (Security threat level – 4):
  • On 20 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Yangon issued a Health Alert regarding water supply cuts that reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Yangon City, Yangon Region, Burma
  • “Event: The Yangon City Development Committee announced cuts to the water supply for various Yangon-area townships on March 22, 2019 from 10:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. due to maintenance on the water supply system. The list of affected townships includes: Ahlone, Bahan, Botahtaung, Dawbon, Kamayut, Kyimindaing, Mayangone, Mingalar Taung Nyunt, Mingalardon, New Dagon City (North, South, East, and Seikkan), Okkalapa (North and South), Pazundaung, Sanchaung, Taketa, Tamwe, Thingangyun, Yankin.”

  • Nigeria (Security threat level – 5): On 19 March 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Nigeria, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections took place on 9 March 2019. Tensions remain high, particularly in those states which face a partial re-run of the elections on Saturday 23 March: Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto. Curfews, state-wide or localised, are likely in these states on the day of the re-run elections – you should monitor local media for updates. Some of the national and state election results will be disputed and legal challenges may begin. Consequently tensions will continue to run high across Nigeria for some time and public gatherings and demonstrations may take place at short notice and have the potential to turn violent. You should continue to avoid rallies, public gatherings and demonstrations and monitor local media.”

  • Pakistan (Security threat level – 5): On 20 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad issued a Security Alert regarding protests in Islamabad that reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Islamabad, Pakistan
  • “Event: On March 20, 2019, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) summoned leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party for an investigation. As of 11:00 hours on March 20, 2019, around 300 demonstrators have gathered at the NADRA intersection to demonstrate against the NAB. Clashes are reported between police and demonstrators. Arrests have occurred. Injuries have been reported. Demonstrations may continue throughout the day.
  • “U.S. Embassy personnel have been instructed to avoid the areas of demonstration, including the NADRA intersection, GEO intersection and the “Abpara Rawalpindi NAB” building in the G6/1 area of Islamabad.”

  • South Pacific Islands (Security threat level – 1): On 20 March 2019, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) issued updated travel advice for Solomon Islands, which reads in part as follows:

  • “National elections will be held on 3 April 2019. Maintain a high degree of awareness throughout the election period and during the selection of the Prime Minister which is likely to happen two to four weeks after the election. Avoid protests, political rallies and concerts, as they may turn violent.”

  • United States (Security threat level – 2): On 19 March 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for the United States, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Historically high levels of flooding are affecting Midwestern states, including Nebraska, Iowa, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri and Minnesota. This follows a winter storm, known as the “bomb cyclone”, which brought blizzard conditions to western and central states in the week of 11 March. Hazardous weather conditions have led to at least 3 fatalities and local States of Emergency have been declared across affected areas. Thousands of evacuations have taken place throughout the region and local authorities are working to reach several communities cut off from outside help.”

  • 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.