Worldview Security Update – August 28, 2019
28-Aug-19

AMERICAS

Argentina (Security threat level – 3): Civil society groups have announced plans to protest against President Mauricio Macri’s economic policies in central Buenos Aires on 28 August 2019. Protesters plan to gather at the intersection of Avenida Belgrano and 9 de Julio, two major thoroughfares, beginning at 1300 local time (1600 UTC). Similar demonstrations on 15 and 22 August caused significant traffic disruptions.

Caribbean: As of 1200 UTC on 28 August 2019, Tropical Storm Dorian was located approximately 95 km (60 mi) southeast of St. Croix and was moving northwest at about 20 kph (13 mph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, Dorian was generating maximum sustained winds of 95 kph with higher gusts. Dorian is expected to strengthen as it moves across the eastern Caribbean Sea on 28-29 August and is expected to be near hurricane strength when it approaches Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.

Hurricane Watches are currently in effect for Puerto Rico — including Vieques and Culebra islands — and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Meanwhile, a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Dominican Republic from Isla Saona to Samana. Dorian is expected to bring up to 10 cm (4 inches) of rain to the Westward Leeward Islands, northwestern Puerto Rico and southern Bahamas. Meanwhile, southern and eastern Puerto Rico, as well as the southeastern part of the U.S., could receive up to 15 cm of rain, with isolated maximums of up to 25 cm. Flash floods in those areas are possible. Tropical storm conditions are expected and hurricane conditions are possible in Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands on 28 August. Meanwhile, tropical storm conditions are expected in the British Virgin Islands. Additionally, storm-generated swells are expected to cause hazardous surfs and riptide conditions across the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and along the southern coasts of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola on 28 August.

ASIA

Philippines (Security threat level – 4): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), as of 0900 UTC on 28 August 2019, Tropical Storm Podul was located approximately 775 km (480 mi) east of Da Nang, Vietnam, and was moving west at 28 kph (17 mph). At that time, Podul was generating maximum sustained winds of 65 kph with gusts of up to 83 kph. Podul made landfall near Casiguran municipality — which is located in Aurora province on the Philippines’ Luzon island — at approximately 1440 UTC on 27 August, and exited Luzon about four hours later. Podul, known as “Jenny” in the Philippines, had weakened to become a tropical depression shortly before coming ashore. The storm has since re-strengthened into a tropical storm. Effects on the ground were not as severe as previously anticipated. The highest amount of rainfall occurred in Aparri, located in Cagayan province, where 125 mm (5 in) of rain was recorded. There were no reports of storm-related casualties. The storm is currently forecast to pass near China’s Hainan island on 29 August before making a second landfall in northern Vietnam on 30 August.

EUROPE

Finland (Security threat level – 2): On 28 August 2019, authorities announced plans to restrict transportation in Helsinki from 28-30 August during a scheduled meeting of European Union (EU) officials and a visit by the president of Latvia. Authorities will interrupt vehicular traffic while delegates travel from one location to another and will restrict aviation and pedestrian traffic, as well as alter public transportation routes. Traffic disruptions are expected along the route that connects Helsinki Airport (EFHK/HEL) to Finlandia Hall from 1030 local time (0730 UTC) through the evening on 28 August. There will be additional disruptions in the city center on 29 and 30 August from 0730-0830, and along the route between Finlandia Hall and the airport from 1000-0000 on 29 August and from 1200-1900 on 30 August. The most significant disruptions are expected on 29 August from 1400-1900. Authorities have warned that travel delays of at least one hour should be expected between the city center and the airport and recommended that travelers use alternate routes.

In addition, public transportation routes will be re-routed during the morning hours of 29 and 30 August, and bicycle and pedestrian traffic will be prohibited near Finlandia Hall. Officials advised travelers to keep abreast of updates via the Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) website .

A no-fly zone will be established around Finlandia Hall from 0800 local time on 28 August to 2100 local time on 30 August. The cordon will extend 700-1,000 m (2,300-3,280 ft) outward and 300 m above ground level. Airspace restrictions will not apply to emergency, military or police activities.

Italy (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 1120 local time (1020 UTC) on 28 August 2019, Mount Stromboli — located on the island of Stromboli, north of Sicily – erupted, spewing huge plumes of smoke into the air. As of last report, ash and debris are falling in the direction of the town of Lipari Marco Giorgiann, which is located at the base of the mountain. The eruption has forced foreign tourists on the island to seek shelter at a local church. In addition, the town mayor has activated local civil defense forces and banned non-scheduled ships from docking on the island as a precaution. However, there have been no reports of damage or casualties.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Yemen (Security threat level – 5): On 28 August 2019, security forces loyal to the internationally-recognized Yemeni government retook control of large parts of Aden — including Aden International Airport (OYAA/ADE) — from southern separatist forces. Reports indicate that government troops have also recaptured the presidential palace, but fighting is ongoing in large parts of the city. Members of the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) have held the city since 9 August.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

South Africa (Security threat level – 4): As of 28 August 2019, clashes between security personnel and rioters are ongoing in Pretoria’s Central Business District (CBD). During the morning hours, thousands of taxi drivers used their vehicles to block several main roads in the CBD to protest the killing of a taxi driver, allegedly by individuals involved in drug-related activity, on 27 August. The gathering later descended into violence as protesters reportedly looted and set fire to several businesses in the area. Police officers deployed tear gas canisters and fired rubber bullets to disperse the rioters. Several areas of the CBD are “no-go zones” and authorities have advised the public to avoid the area. City officials also suspended bus services throughout Tshwane municipality — which comprises Pretoria — on 28 August due to the protests.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Bolivia (Security threat level – 3): On 28 August 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Bolivia, which reads in part as follows: “Presidential elections will be held on 22 October 2019. Social conflict may escalate in the coming months, resulting in regular demonstrations and blockades. Do not attempt to cross blockades, and before travelling check local advice.”

Malawi (Security threat level – 3): On 28 August 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Malawi, which reads in part as follows: “On 27 August, the Malawi Supreme Court issued a 14-day moratorium preventing a coalition of Civil Society Organizations, the Human Rights Defenders Consortium, from holding any demonstrations in Malawi. However, further protests are possible. If you’re in Malawi, avoid large crowds or demonstrations, monitor this travel advice and local media for updates and keep any local and international travel plans under review. You may also wish to stock up on petrol, food and essentials, including any medication, in case normal service provision is disrupted in the short term.”