Worldview Security Update – October 2, 2019
2-Oct-19

AMERICAS

Haiti (Security threat level – 4): Opposition leaders have called for a large-scale protest to paralyze the capital Port-au-Prince on 2 October 2019; however, no reports have emerged regarding protests in the city as yet. Tactics during recent demonstrations have included burning tires, road blockades and arson of buildings; violent clashes between protesters and police officers have broken out during the most recent protest actions. Protesters have engaged in significant, violent demonstrations since 27 September to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse as the overall economic conditions in Haiti deteriorate. In addition to rising inflation, shortages of fuel, food and potable water are ongoing in the city and elsewhere in Haiti.

Mexico (Security threat level – 4): A large-scale demonstration to mark the 51st anniversary of the violent suppression of a student protest is scheduled to begin in Mexico City’s Tlatelolco area at 1600 local time (1900 UTC) on 2 October 2019. In view of the planned protest, authorities have deployed approximately 12,000 security personnel across the city. The protest will likely cause major traffic disruptions in the city. Violence is an ever-present concern during such gatherings, although this particular demonstration is expected to remain peaceful.

United States (Security threat level – 2): At approximately 1000 local time (1400 UTC) on 2 October 2019, a vintage B-17 aircraft crashed into a building at Bradley International Airport (KBDL/BDL) near Hartford, Connecticut. The airport is closed while an active fire and rescue operation is underway. Multiple injuries have been reported. The World War II-era aircraft belongs to the Collings Foundation and was part of the “Wings of Freedom” tour.

ASIA

China (Security threat level – 3): On 2 October 2019, an impromptu demonstration occurred in Hong Kong, during which thousands of demonstrators rallied throughout the city in response to the shooting of a protester by police officers during clashes that occurred in Tsuen Wan district the previous day. In Chater Garden in Central district, thousands gathered in solidarity with the wounded demonstrator and to protest against violent unrest in the city. Meanwhile, in Tsuen Wan, hundreds of students participated in a “sit-in” outside the school of the protester who was shot. Elsewhere, student protesters in Kwun Tong and Aberdeen formed human chains. Protesters are also demanding independent investigations into the actions of police officers. At least 104 people were injured during protests on 1 October and another 269 were arrested.

Indonesia (Security threat level – 4): Beginning at 1300 local time on 2 October 2019, tens of thousands of members of the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) demonstrated outside the People’s Consultative Assembly compound in Senayan, Central Jakarta to protest against labor, wage and health insurance regulations. The peaceful demonstration lasted approximately three hours. At least 6,000 police officers were deployed during the event to maintain security and manage traffic; roads near the parliament building were temporarily closed to accommodate the protesters.

Japan / North Korea (Security threat levels – 1 / 3): On 2 October 2019, North Korea fired a ballistic missile into Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The missile was fired from an unknown location and traveled approximately 450 km (280 mi) east, reaching a maximum altitude of 910 km. Military officials believe that the weapon came from an offshore submarine and split into two pieces before landing into the EEZ. There were no reports of damage.

North Korea had previously suspended all nuclear tests and construction of long-range missiles after beginning denuclearization agreements with the U.S. Since June 2019, North Korea has launched at least nine missiles. U.S President Donald Trump plans to meet North Korean President Kim Jong-Un on 5 October to further discuss North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

South Korea / China (Security threat levels – 2 / 3): As of 0900 UTC on 2 October 2019, Typhoon Mitag was located approximately 335 km (208 mi) south-southwest of Kunsan, South Korea, and was moving north-northeast at 28 kph (17 mph), according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). At that time, the typhoon had maximum sustained winds of 83 kph with gusts of up to 102 kph. Mitag made landfall in eastern China on the evening of 1 October and is currently tracking toward the southern coast of South Korea; the storm is expected to bring strong winds and heavy rains before making landfall later in the evening of 2 October in South Jeolla Province.

EUROPE

Greece (Security threat level – 3): On 2 October 2019, workers across Greece went on strike to protest a proposed labor bill that will affect union bargaining rights and the right to observe labor actions. Union workers from banks, hospitals, schools and transportation services are participating in the strike and participated in a rally in central Athens. Ferry services and public transportation services are expected to be significantly disrupted in major cities, such as Athens and Thessaloniki, throughout the day, but air travel has not been affected. Union leaders warned that strikes could continue if an agreement is not reached.

Portugal / Ireland (Security threat levels – 2 / 2): As of 1200 UTC on 2 October 2019, Hurricane Lorenzo was located approximately 480 km (300 mi) north-northeast of Flores Island in the western Azores, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, Lorenzo was moving northeast at approximately 70 kph (44 mph) and had maximum sustained winds of 140 kph with higher gusts. The storm is expected to move away from the Azores and toward Ireland by the evening of 3 October.

Currently, a Hurricane Warning is in effect for Flores, Corvo, Faial, Pico, São Jorge, Graciosa and Terceira. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for São Miguel and Santa Maria. The storm is expected to produce approximately 25 mm (1 in) of rain with an isolated maximum of 50 mm near western Azores. In Ireland, Lorenzo is forecast to bring strong winds and torrential rainfall on 3 October. An “orange wind warning” will be in place in Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick counties from 1800 local time on 3 October until 0300 local time on 4 October (1700 UTC on 3 October-0200 UTC on 4 October). A “yellow wind warning” will be in effect nationwide from 0800 local time until 0600 local time on 4 October. In Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick counties, average wind speeds are expected to reach between 65-80 kph, with gusts of up to 100-130 kph, according to Met Éireann, the Irish meteorological service. Stronger winds, storm surges and potentially damaging flooding are expected in coastal areas. The storm is forecast to generate between 50-80 mm of rain across Ireland, while mountainous areas of Donegal, Galway and Mayo counties are expected to receive up to 100 mm of rain.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Iraq (Security threat level – 5): On 2 October 2019, security personnel fired warning shots and tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters across Baghdad for the second day in a row. Riot police officers fired warning shots and tear gas near Tahrir Square, as well as in the Zaafaraniya, al-Batawin and al-Shaab neighborhoods. Meanwhile, protesters are marching toward Tahrir Square and are burning tires in several protest locations, as of last report. Earlier in the morning, the Iraqi Army deployed across the city in anticipation of the protests, and security forces blocked several roads in the city, including the bridge that leads to the International Zone. Thus far, at least eight people have been injured in Zaafaraniya on 2 October.

On the previous day, riot police officers in Baghdad fired live ammunition, water cannons and tear gas at protesters. In addition to the protests in Baghdad, demonstrators rallied in cities across southern Iraq, including Basra, Dhi Qar, Nasiriyah,Misyan, Wasit and Diwaniyah governorates. Police officers forcibly dispersed protesters in Basra and in Nasiriyah, where security forces killed one person. In total, at least three people were killed and 200 others were injured, including 40 police officers, during the unrest on 1 October. Demonstrators are protesting against corruption and lack of basic services.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

El Salvador (Security threat level – 4): On 1 October 2019, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated Travel Advisory for El Salvador and lowered its level of advice  from  "Level 3: Reconsider Travel" to "Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution." The updated Travel Advisory reads in part as follows:

"Exercise increased caution when traveling to El Salvador due to crime.

"Country Summary: Violent crime, such as murder, assault, rape, and armed robbery, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics and arms trafficking, is widespread. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents." The full text of the Travel Advisory is available here .

Italy (Security threat level – 3): On 1 October 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Rome issued a Demonstration Alert in regard to a protest scheduled to take place at the Ministry of Economic Development on 4 October, which reads in part as follows:

“Location: Rome, at the Ministry of Economic Development on Via Molise.

“Event: A demonstration to protest Whirlpool layoffs in Italy is expected to take place on Friday, October 4, 2019 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Approximately 1000 demonstrators will be arriving to the site via public transportation and rented buses. Buses will likely disrupt transit through Via S. Basilio between Piazza Barberini and Via L. Bissolati and the demonstration may overflow onto Via Veneto and Via L. Bissolati at each respective intersection with Via Molise.”