Worldview Security Update – August 14, 2019
14-Aug-19

ASIA

China (Security threat level – 3): According to reports on 13 August 2019, the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) plans to hold a protest march in Hong Kong beginning at 1500 local time (0700 UTC) on 18 August. Protesters plan to initially gather at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay and march to Chater Road in Central. The motive of the demonstration is to reiterate demands of the ongoing protests, including a full withdrawal of the extradition bill, an independent investigation into alleged police brutality, the release of all detained protesters, the withdrawal of the government’s classification of the protests as riots and the implementation of a requirement that all lawmakers in the territory be elected.

China (Security threat level – 3): Flight operations at Hong Kong International Airport (VHHH/HKG) resumed beginning at 0600 local time on 14 August 2019 (2200 UTC on 13 August); however, delays and cancellations continue to occur. While as many as 100 demonstrators remain inside the facility, protest organizers have announced a temporary suspension of demonstrations at the airport following clashes with police officers the previous night. Authorities have increased security measures at the airport, which include restricting access to departure and arrivals halls to passengers with valid travel documents, such as tickets for flights scheduled to depart within the next 24 hours.

Violence broke out at the airport at approximately 2300 local time on 13 August, when protesters occupying the airport clashed with police officers attempting to release an individual whom the protesters had detained on suspicion of being an undercover police officer. The confrontation occurred as police officers attempted to extract the hostage after he lost consciousness and demonstrators refused to allow him to receive medical attention. Protesters then threw objects at police officers, who responded with pepper spray and arrested five demonstrators after retrieving the hostage. Protesters also later briefly detained a journalist from a Chinese state news outlet, but later released him to paramedics to receive treatment for injuries the protesters had inflicted on him. Police officers left the area by 0000 local time on 14 August, and many of the protesters left shortly afterward. Airport authorities have obtained a temporary injunction against demonstrations on the airport premises following the violence.

Japan (Security threat level – 1): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), as of 0900 UTC on 14 August 2019, Tropical Storm Krosa was located approximately 550 km (340 mi) south of Iwakuni and was moving north at about 10 kph (6 mph). At that time, Krosa was generating maximum sustained winds of 93 kph with gusts of up to 120 kph. Currently, the storm is forecast to make landfall in Shikoku by 15 August and is expected to affect various areas — including Shikoku, Kyushu and western Honshu islands — on 14 August. Authorities have suspended all flight operations at Miyazaki Airport (RJFM/KMI) and Tanegashima Airport (RJFG/TNE). In addition, officials have partially suspended operations at Amami Airport (RJKA/ASJ), and West Japan Railway has canceled services from Osaka to southwestern Japan scheduled for 15 August.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Costa Rica (Security threat level – 3): On 13 August 2019, the U.S. Embassy in San José issued a Weather Alert, which reads in part as follows:

"Location: Costa Rica

"Event: The United States National Weather Service has identified the potential for heavy rainfall for Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua from early Wednesday, August 14, through Friday, August 16. Rain accumulation of 1-3 inches/day with maximum of 4-6 inches/day is forecasted. The highest risk is for western Panama and Costa Rica, where the mountains will play a role in enhancing rainfall rates, which can see rainfall near 12 inches."

Greece (Security threat level – 3): On 13 August 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice regarding ongoing wildfires in Greece, which reads in part as follows: “A wildfire in Illea region, Manolada has meant that the National road between Payras and Pyrgos has been closed. Wildfires are ongoing in the Psachna area of the island of Evia (north of Athens) and in the Corianthiakos Bay area of Thiva (north-west of Athens). The Greek authorities have evacuated villages in Evia as a precaution, and the Greek authority wildfire alert remains at category 5 (red alert). Smoke from the fire on Evia is also affecting Athens. Local authorities have advised that anyone with breathing difficulties should remain indoors and switch off air-conditioning units.”

Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 13 August 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued a Security Alert regarding demonstrations planned for 14 August, which reads in part as follows:

"Location: In front of the U.S. Embassy

"Events: There are reports that PetroCaribe Challengers and other groups have called for demonstrations culminating in front of the Embassy on Wednesday, August 14, 2019. There is no announced start time for the demonstrations; however, they are expected to reach the Embassy between 10:00AM and 12:00PM. Be aware that travel to and from the Embassy during the day may be difficult as transportation can be heavily impacted on Blvd. 15 Octobre.

"The Embassy has requested increased Haitian National Police presence around the Embassy as a precautionary measure. We will issue updated information as necessary."

Iran (Security threat level – 3): On 14 August 2019, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) updated its travel advice for Iran to read in part as follows: “Reconsider your need to travel, due to the risk that foreigners including Australians could be arbitrarily detained or arrested. Dual nationals are also at risk. We can’t guarantee access to consular services or legal representation if you’re detained or arrested.”

Papua New Guinea (Security threat level – 4): On 14 August 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Papua New Guinea, which reads in part as follows: “Mount Bagana in Bougainville erupted on 13 August. Air Niugini has suspended flights to the Buka and Hoskins airports following the Ulawun volcano on 3 August. Visitors should check with their airline / travel operator if visiting Bougainville and New Britain.”