Worldview Security Update – August 30, 2019
30-Aug-19

AMERICAS

Bahamas / United States (Security threat levels – 2 / 2): As of 1200 UTC on 30 August 2019, Hurricane Dorian was located approximately 410 km (255 mi) east-northeast of the southeastern Bahamas, and was moving northwest at about 19 kph (12 mph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, Dorian was generating maximum sustained winds of 175 kph with higher gusts. Dorian was upgraded to a Category 2 storm on 29 August and is currently expected to strengthen into a Category 4 hurricane as it approaches the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the U.S. state of Florida over the next several days. On the current track, Dorian will pass over the Atlantic Ocean east of the southeastern and central Bahamas on 29-30 August and will approach the northwestern Bahamas on 31 August. Dorian is currently expected to pass over Great Abaco and Grand Bahama islands from 31 August to 1 September. The storm is forecast to make landfall on Florida’s Atlantic Coast on 2 September, with wind speeds expected to reach up to 210 kph. Dorian is predicted to roll inland toward Orlando, Florida, on 3 September as it weakens into a Category 2 storm with projected winds speeds of 177 kph.

A Hurricane Watch is currently in effect for the northwestern Bahamas, including the capital Nassau. In the U.S., a statewide state of emergency is in effect for Florida, but no evacuations have been announced in the state thus far. Additionally, in the neighboring state of Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency for at least 12 coastal counties in anticipation of disruptions associated with the storm. Dorian is expected to produce 25-50 mm (1-2 in) of rain, with isolated maximums of up to 100 mm in central Bahamas, while approximately 75-150 mm of rain, with isolated maximums of 200 mm, is in the forecast for the northwestern part of the country over the upcoming weekend. Coastal areas of the southeastern U.S. are expected to receive 100-200 mm of rain, with isolated maximums of up to 300 mm. The heavy rainfall could cause life-threatening flash floods. Meanwhile, hurricane-generated swells are expected to cause hazardous surfs and riptide conditions across the southeastern U.S. and the eastern Bahamian shores over the next several days.

ASIA

China (Security threat level – 3): On 30 August 2019, members of the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) canceled a pro-democracy protest march set for 31 August in Hong Kong after their bid to overturn a decision by authorities to ban the event failed. The Appeal Board on Public Meetings and Processions upheld the ban after the CHRF suggested an alternate march route with five start and end points. Police officials banned the rally — which was supposed to begin in Chater Garden in Central and end at the central government’s liaison office in Sai Ying Pun — on 29 August, citing public safety concerns after violence broke out following an authorized demonstration on 25 August. Spontaneous protests are probable despite the ban.

EUROPE

Russia (Security threat level – 3): On 30 August 2019, an An-2 aircraft owned by Aviaspektr crashed while conducting an emergency landing near Lake Silyan-Kuel in the region of Yakutia, approximately 400 km (250 mi) from the aircraft’s original departure point. Seven people were onboard the aircraft at the time; two were killed and five were injured in the crash. Authorities are still working to determine the cause of the accident and have not yet released further details.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Benin (Security threat level – 3): On 29 August 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued an update to its travel advisory for Benin regarding the Seme border crossing with Nigeria, which reads in part as follows: “Additional checks are in place at the Seme border crossing between Benin and Nigeria. This has caused some disruption and delays. If you’re planning to make a land crossing from Benin to Nigeria, check with local authorities for the latest information before travelling.”

China (Security threat level – 3): On 30 August 2019, the U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macao issued a Demonstration Alert that reads in part as follows:

"Location:

  • Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong International Airport
  • Hong Kong Transit Systems

"Event: On Saturday, August 31, media report the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) had planned a rally and march from Chater Garden in Central to the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Sai Ying Pun. The Hong Kong Police, however, did not approve the petition. CHRF officially cancelled the march after permission was denied, but, it is possible that a large gathering in these, or other, areas might still occur.

"On Sunday, September 1, media report that protesters have called for an “airport traffic stress test” to hinder transportation around Hong Kong International Airport.

"On Monday, September 2, media report that protesters have called for a citywide two-day strike. Student groups have also called for protests at universities and secondary schools.

"These protests might disrupt transportation across Hong Kong.

"Since June 2019, large scale and smaller political demonstrations have taken place in various areas of Hong Kong, including at Hong Kong International Airport. Most have been peaceful, but some have resulted in violent confrontations between the police and protesters. Police have used a variety of crowd control measures, including the deployment of tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons. The protests and confrontations have spilled over into neighborhoods other than those where the police have permitted marches or rallies. These demonstrations, which can take place with little or no notice, are likely to continue.”

Indonesia (Security threat level – 4): On 30 August 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta issued a Security Alert for Papua province that reads in part as follows:

"Security Alert: U.S. Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia, August 30, 2019

“Location: Papua Province, Indonesia

“Over the last several days, demonstrations in Papua province have resulted in damage to personal property and government buildings, injuries, and reported deaths. Internet access has been restricted. U.S. citizens in these provinces should avoid demonstrations and exercise caution when moving within the province. The Embassy continues to closely monitor the situation.

“U.S. citizens should reconsider travel to Papua province due to civil unrest. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Papua province as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization before traveling to those areas.”

Russia (Security threat level – 3): On 30 August 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

“Location: Moscow, Russia – Chistye Prudy Metro Station, starting at 14:00, continuing along the Boulevard Ring Road, and ending at Pushkin Square.

“Event: On Saturday, August 31, protesters plan to gather for an unauthorized political demonstration near Chistye Prudy Metro Station beginning at 14:00 and continuing to Pushkin Square. A large police and media presence is expected. U.S. citizens should avoid the protest route and immediate surrounding area.

“In addition, there is the potential for other authorized and unauthorized demonstrations leading up to Russia’s national election day on September 8. The Embassy may not always be aware of the exact time and place of these events in advance. Given the likely substantial police presence and possible dispersal of protesters into other areas in the city center, U.S. citizens should avoid these demonstrations and any demonstration-related activities.”