Worldview Security Update – August 25, 2020
25-Aug-20

AMERICAS

Colombia / Paraguay (Security threat levels – 4 / 3): On 24 August 2020, Colombian President Iván Duque announced that officials will lift most of the country’s coronavirus-related restrictions on 1 September, and a phase of "selective isolation" will be in effect until at least 30 September. Authorities are shifting their containment strategy to contact tracing and isolation. Commercial flights may resume pending new health and sanitary guidelines. Restaurants will be allowed to reopen with occupancy restrictions and public health mandates. Additionally, the consumption of alcohol in bars, dance clubs and public areas will be prohibited.

In Paraguay, authorities on 23 August imposed stricter quarantine measures in Gran Asunción – the capital city’s metropolitan area – due to a rise in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. The new measures will remain in effect until 6 September. The orders include a 2000-0500 local time (0000-0900 UTC) nightly curfew, limited long-distance travel services during weekends, and a ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages.

United States (Security threat level – 2): At approximately 2130 local time on 24 August 2020 (0230 UTC on 25 August), police officers deployed tear gas and stun grenades against demonstrators in front of the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, located approximately 40 mi (65 km) south of Milwaukee on the shores of Lake Michigan. Protesters set fire to vehicles, threw bottles and launched fireworks at police officers. Rioters also burned at least three buildings and looted businesses in central Kenosha. Protests began on 23 August after a video of police officers shooting a Black man in the city earlier that same day began to circulate on social media. There have been no reports of arrests or injuries during the protests.

United States / Cuba (Security threat levels – 2 / 2): As of approximately 0715 local time (1215 UTC) on 25 August 2020, Tropical Storm Laura had strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane and was located approximately 235 km (145 mi) northwest of the western tip of Cuba and 1,005 km (625 mi) southeast of Lake Charles, Louisiana, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, Laura was moving west-northwest at 28 kph (17 mph) and was generating maximum sustained winds of 110 kph (70 mph) with higher gusts. On its current path, the storm is projected to move away from Cuba on 25 August and then pass over the central and northwestern Gulf of Mexico, before making landfall along the Texas-Louisiana border during the evening of 26 August. Laura is expected to continue strengthening through 26 August, possibly making landfall as a Category 3 hurricane. During 26-29 August, Laura is expected to produce 4-8 in (100-200 mm) of rainfall with isolated maximums of 12 inches across parts of the west-central U.S. Gulf Coast along the Texas-Louisiana border and north into the lower Mississippi Valley. Widespread flash flooding is possible along with isolated river flooding. Swells generated by the storm are currently creating hazardous surf conditions along portions of Cuba, the central Bahamas and the Florida Keys. Swells are forecast to spread north along portions of the western coast of Florida on 25 August and will reach the northern and northwestern Gulf Coast by 26 August. In Texas, authorities in Galveston City, Port Arthur, Orange County and Jefferson County, have issued mandatory evacuation orders.

In Cuba, authorities reported that Tropical Storm Laura has damaged at least 1,000 residences and caused power outages in several areas, including in the capital Havana. Flooding washed out the Yao Nave Bridge located in the mountainous Buey Arriba municipality in Granma province, which cut off at least 30 communities from main access roads.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the following areas: the Cuban provinces of Artemisa, Cienfuegos, La Havana, Matanzas, Mayabeque, Pinar del Rio, Villa Clara and the Isle of Youth; and the Florida Keys from Seven Mile Bridge to Key West and Dry Tortugas. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Port Bolivar, Texas, to west of Morgan City, Louisiana.

ASIA

China / Thailand / Indonesia (Security threat levels – 3 / 3 / 4): On 25 August 2020, Hong Kong officials announced that some coronavirus-related restrictions will be eased on 28 August, in response to a decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the city. Under the loosened restrictions, restaurants may offer dine-in services through 2100 local time (1300 UTC) with a limit of two people per table; dine-in services are currently allowed until 1800 local time. Beauty salons, movie theaters and outdoor sports venues are also allowed to reopen. Additionally, face masks will no longer be required at parks or for individuals exercising outdoors.

In Thailand, the Cabinet approved an extension of the nationwide state of emergency through 30 September. Under the order, foreign travelers arriving in Thailand are required to quarantine for at least 14 days. Most domestic restrictions have been previously lifted, including a nightly curfew.

In Indonesia, on 24 August the governor of Bali canceled plans to allow foreign nationals to travel to the island beginning on 11 September, and instead banned all foreign travelers through at least the end of 2020. At the national level, foreign nationals are still banned from entering the country until further notice. Bali previously reopened to domestic travelers in late July.

South Korea / North Korea (Security threat levels – 2 / 3): As of 0900 UTC on 25 August 2020, Typhoon Bavi was located approximately 535 km (330 mi) southwest of Sasebo, Japan, and was moving north-northwest at 13 kph (8 mph), according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Bavi was generating maximum sustained winds of 176 kph, with gusts of up to 213 kph. On its current path the storm is forecast to make landfall in North Korea’s South Hwanghae province between 26 and 27 August. In South Korea, authorities declared a typhoon watch for Jeju Island, while typhoon warnings are in effect for Daegu, Busan, Ulsan, Sejong and Gwangju. The capital Seoul is also expected to receive heavy rainfall and potentially damaging winds.

EUROPE

Ireland / United Kingdom (Security threat levels – 2 / 3): As of 25 August 2020, areas across Northern Ireland are bracing for additional flooding and strong winds as a result of Storm Frances. In Newcastle, local emergency crews rescued residents from Shimna Road and Bryansford Road after the Shimna River overflowed its banks during the storm. According to local officials, more than 300 homes have been affected by the flooding and an unspecified number of local streets are submerged under nearly 1.2 m (4 ft) of water. Local forecasts call for more rainfall during 25-26 August and strong winds for Northern Ireland with wind gusts of up to 80 kph (50 mph). Additionally, local officials in Ireland have issued an orange-level warning for the counties of Cavan, Cork, Donegal, Kerry, Monaghan, Waterford and Wexford.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Palestinian Territories (Security threat level – 4): On 24 August 2020, the Gaza Health Ministry imposed a 48-hour curfew throughout the Gaza Strip. Under the measure, all restaurants, markets, mosques and nonessential businesses must close. Authorities ordered the curfew following the confirmation of four new COVID-19 cases outside of isolation.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Liberia (Security threat level – 4): On 24 August 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia issued a Demonstration Alert that reads in part as follows:

"Event: The U.S. Embassy in Monrovia has received reports of multiple demonstrations and/or political gatherings expected from August 24 – 27 in various points across greater Monrovia, including West Point north of the embassy, the Vamoma House in Sinkor, and the Foreign Ministry on Capitol Hill; the routes could expand to include diplomatic missions, including the U.S. Embassy."

The full text of the alert is available here .