Worldview Security Update – June 3, 2020
3-Jun-20

AMERICAS

Mexico / Guatemala / El Salvador (Security threat levels – 4 / 4 / 4): At 0835 local time (1335 UTC) on 3 June 2020, Tropical Storm Cristobal made landfall in the Mexican state of Campeche approximately 40 km (25 mi) northwest of the city of Ciudad del Carmen in Campeche state. Cristobal — which formed on 2 June from remnants of Tropical Storm Amanda in the Bay of Campeche — was generating maximum sustained winds of 95 kph (60 mph) and was moving in a southeast direction at 6 kph. According to the National Hurricane Center, Cristobal is expected to move east later on 3 June, then track in a north-northeast trajectory during 4-5 June. The center of the storm is projected to move over the Bay of Campeche on the evening of 4 June and continue northward.

Cristobal is projected to produce 25-50 cm (10-20 in) of rainfall in the Mexican states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Yucatán, with isolated locations receiving as much as 60 cm. Areas in southern Guatemala and El Salvador — which have received a significant amount of rainfall since 30 May from Tropical Storm Amanda — are projected to receive an additional 40-50 cm and 25-40 cm, respectively. The heavy rainfall may cause landslides, flooding and possibly even waterspouts in the affected areas. Police officials in Campeche state have already closed several highways due to flooding. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from the city of Campeche in Campeche state to the city of Puerto de Veracruz in Veracruz state.

United States (Security threat level – 2): On 2-3 June 2020, large-scale protests in response to the 25 May police killing of an African American man in Minneapolis, Minnesota, continued in several major U.S. cities, despite nighttime curfews in place. In New York City, thousands of protesters participated in largely peaceful marches in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Meanwhile, approximately 2,000 protesters took to the streets of Washington, D.C., the national capital, and also gathered at Lafayette Square — located adjacent to the White House. Similar large-scale demonstrations also occurred in the cities of Chicago and Los Angeles. In addition, approximately 60,000 people peacefully marched in downtown Houston from Discovery Green Park to the City Hall. All of these gatherings were relatively calm in comparison to similar such gatherings that have been marred by intense violence in recent days. Nighttime curfews remain in effect during 3-4 June in New York City (2000-0500 local time), Chicago (2100-0600 local time), Los Angeles (1800-0600 local time) and Seattle (2100-0500 local time), among major cities in the country.

ASIA

India (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 1300 local time (0730 UTC) on 3 June 2020, Cyclone Nisarga made landfall as the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane — with winds of more than 100 kph (60mph) — near Alibaug, a town located along the coast in Maharashtra state’s Raigad district, approximately 50 km (30 mi) south of Mumbai, the state capital. Severe flooding has occurred in the low-lying areas situated to the south of Mumbai, and heavy rains and strong winds are expected to continue in the region throughout the day on 3 June. India’s National Disaster Response Force evacuated more than 100,000 individuals to higher ground in the states of Goa, Gujarat and Maharashtra ahead of the storm. Thus far, officials have not confirmed widespread storm-related injuries or fatalities.

Flights to Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (VABB/BOM) are currently being redirected to Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (VAAH/AMD); operations at Mumbai airport were expected to resume at 1800 local time on 3 June. Additionally, the Bandra-Worli Sea Link bridge — which crosses Mahim Bay and connects to the southern suburbs of Mumbai — is closed until further notice.

As of 1630 local time on 3 June, Cyclone Nisarga was located approximately 80 km (50 mi) east-southeast of Mumbai and was continuing its northeastern track at a speed of 24 kph. At that point, the cyclone had maximum sustained winds of 85 kph, with gusts of up to 95 kph. Meteorologists forecast that Nisarga will produce heavy rains along its route to Gujarat state before reaching the Himalayas in neighboring Nepal.

EUROPE

France (Security threat level – 3): On 2 June 2020, an estimated 20,000 people gathered in cities across France — the largest gathering being in Paris, with smaller gatherings in Lille, Lyon and Marseille — due to outrage over the 25 May police killing of an African American man in the northern U.S. city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, as well as to pay tribute to a black Frenchman who died in police custody in 2016. The gatherings that took place during the daylight hours — despite an existing ban on public gatherings of more than 10 people due to COVID-19 — Remained peaceful. However, later in the evening and overnight hours, clashes broke out between a small group of protesters and police officers in Paris, primarily along Avenue de Clichy in the northwestern 17th arrondissement. Police officers fired tear gas to disperse the protesters, who threw debris at the officers, set up barricades and lit fires. There were no reports of injuries, but disruptions occurred as protesters blocked the ring road in the 17th arrondissement before dispersing in the early morning hours of 3 June.

Germany (Security threat level – 3): On 3 June 2020, Germany’s foreign minister confirmed that the government will annul its advisory for German nationals to avoid travel to EU member countries, in addition to the U.K., Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, on 15 June. The government will continue to urge Germans to avoid traveling to Norway and Spain, where entry bans imposed by the local governments remain in place. For all other countries, the advisory will be replaced with country-specific advice explaining the risks associated with COVID-19. The minister further stated that new warnings could be imposed at the regional or country level in response to potential surges in cases of COVID-19.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

United Arab Emirates (Security threat level – 2): On 2 June 2020, officials in the emirate of Abu Dhabi banned travel between Abu Dhabi and other emirates in the UAE in order to stem the spread of COVID-19. The ban — which is scheduled to be in place through 9 June — allows individuals working in critical sectors or seeking essential services to obtain a special permit for exemption. Additionally, Abu Dhabi is under a nightly curfew from 2200-0600 local time (1800-1000 UTC). Officials with Etihad Airways announced that as part of the movement restrictions officials may require individuals to present proof of a booking confirmation or a copy of their ticket if traveling between emirates to reach an airport.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Guatemala (Security threat level – 4): On 3 June 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City issued an alert regarding increased reports of suspicious activity associated with delivery drivers, which reads in part as follows:

"Event: The United States Embassy in Guatemala has received reports of suspicious behavior associated with food deliveries in Guatemala City. With the increased movement restrictions and reduced operating hours of many businesses in Guatemala, people are increasingly taking advantage of the varied food delivery services in the capital. The Embassy advises all U.S. citizens to remain vigilant.

"Among the suspicious activities recently reported are the arrival of food delivery personnel with false delivery orders. Such false claims allow these personnel to enter controlled residential communities for criminal ends. The Embassy has also received reports of legitimate delivery personnel taking photos of residences while completing confirmed deliveries. In at least one such case, the delivery driver was associated with a gang and gathering information for his associates during the course of his work. To counteract these developments, some residential communities are prohibiting the entry of delivery drivers or requiring that they be escorted by a guard."

The full text of the alert is availble here

India (Security threat level – 3): On 3 June 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for India, which reads in part as follows:

“The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has issued new guidelines permitting certain categories of foreign nationals to travel to India. You will need to obtain a fresh business or employment visa. For information categories and process, visit the Indian Bureau of Immigration website .

“Check the Indian Bureau of Immigration website to see the current list of travel restrictions before making any travel arrangements.”

Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 2 June 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Bamako issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

"Location: Announced gathering point includes, but is not limited to, the following place in Bamako, Mali:

  • Monument de l’Independance

"Event: The group Forces Vives Engagees Resolument pour la Demission de IBK (FERDI) is planning a demonstration at the Monument de L’Independance on Friday, June 5 at 2:00 p.m. FERDI plans to call for the resignation of the President of Mali. Some of the organizers of this demonstration, including Imam Mahmoud Dicko, have been known to draw large crowds to similar protests. The Malian authorities have not approved this demonstration.

"A pro-government group is planning a counter-demonstration to support the President of Mali. The time and place of this event have not been announced.

"In light of government restrictions on public gatherings, police may use force to disperse crowds. Recent demonstrations have turned violent, resulting in the burning of tires, clashes with the police, and the deployment of tear gas. At a minimum, these demonstrations generally cause traffic disruptions." 

Switzerland (Security threat level – 2): On 3 June 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Switzerland, which reads in part as follows:

“The Swiss Government have started a phased relaxation of the “extraordinary measures” introduced in response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

“All shops, restaurants, markets, museums and libraries are now able to reopen with social distancing measures in place. Gatherings of up to 30 people are allowed. All contact with other individuals should be kept to a minimum, and a distance of 2 metres should be maintained at all times.”