Worldview Security Update – May 30, 2019
30-May-19

AMERICAS

El Salvador (Security threat level – 4): At 0303 local time (0903 UTC) on 30 May 2019, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck off of the western coast of El Salvador. The quake was centered approximately 25 km (16 mi) south-southeast of La Libertad and was measured at a depth of about 35 km, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

El Salvadoran authorities issued a tsunami warning for the entire western coast following the quake and officials issued evacuation orders for residents from coastal communities. Reports indicate that there have been power outages in the departments (provinces) of San Salvador and Usulután, and officials have closed the main highway that connects the western region to the central part of the country due to the threat of landslides. While the tremor was felt across El Salvador, as well as in neighboring Guatemala, no reports of major damage or fatalities have emerged thus far.

Analyst Comment: While no major damage has been reported thus far, a full picture of the damage will not be clear until additional information becomes available. Additionally, the earthquake was near a major city and several populated areas, which increases the likelihood of damage to infrastructure. At least seven aftershocks between magnitude 4.1 and 5.0 have been recorded off La Libertad so far; individuals in the area should be prepared for additional tremors.

EUROPE

Hungary (Security threat level – 2): At 2105 local time (1905 UTC) on 29 May 2019, a tourist boat carrying 35 people — including 33 South Korean nationals and two Hungarian crew members — collided with a cruise ship and capsized on the Danube River in Budapest. Flooding and strong currents in the Danube River, as well as heavy rainfall, exacerbated the incident and complicated rescue efforts. Rescue operations are ongoing; at least seven people are confirmed dead and at least 21 others are missing. None of the passengers were wearing life jackets. No one aboard the second vessel was injured. Authorities launched a criminal investigation into the cause of the collision.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Comoros (Security threat level – 3): On 30 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued an updated travel advisory for Comoros to include the following:

  • “President Azali was reinaugurated on 26 May 2019. Some violent incidents occurred during the election period in March. Political demonstrations and other protests may still occur. You’re advised to avoid crowds and demonstrations throughout Comoros and to obey local security instructions.”
  • United States (Security threat level – 2): On 29 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for the United States to include the following:

  • “There is currently a high risk of tornados, severe storms and flooding across a number of eastern, central and southern states. You can check forecasts and weather warnings on the US National Weather Service website and learn more about what you should do during and after a tornado.”
  • Zimbabwe (Security threat level – 4): On 30 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued an updated travel advisory for Zimbabwe to include the following:

  • “Zimbabwe is currently experiencing severe electricity shortages resulting in extended periods without power. During blackouts, you should exercise a high degree of caution when driving as traffic lights may not be operational. Water rationing is being experienced in certain parts of the country.”
  • Security threat levels range from 1 (Very Low) to 5 (Very High) and are determined using a comprehensive system that utilizes both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The primary factors used to determine a location’s security threat level are Armed Conflict, Crime, Demonstrations/Strikes, Ethnic/Sectarian Tensions, Graft/Corruption, Kidnapping, Political Instability, Government Restriction and Terrorism.