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Worldview Security Update – October 28, 2020



Brazil (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 0945 local time (1245 UTC) on 27 October 2020, a fire broke out in the basement of the largest public hospital in the city of Rio de Janeiro, the Federal Hospital of Bonsucesso, resulting in the deaths of three individuals. A total of 300 patients were moved to different locations after fire officials recommended the evacuation of two of the six buildings that comprise the hospital complex. The fire has since been contained, although local media reported smoke billowing from one of the hospital buildings as of 0800 local time on 28 October. In the afternoon of 27 October, the commander of the fire department told local media that the hospital “was not adequate” and the fire department had previously sent the hospital infraction notifications. Federal Police officials have opened an investigation into the cause of the fire, and the acting governor of Rio de Janeiro has called for a review of the hospital.

United States (Security threat level – 2): As of 0700 local time (1200 UTC) on 28 October 2020, Hurricane Zeta was located approximately 295 mi (470 km) south-southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, Zeta was moving north at 17 mph (28 kph) and was generating maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, with higher gusts. On its current track, Zeta is expected to turn to the north-northeast and accelerate before making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane along the southeast Louisiana coastline by the afternoon of 28 October. Zeta is forecast to continue moving northeast over southern Mississippi overnight on 28-29 October and weaken into a tropical storm as it moves over Alabama by early 29 October and across the southeastern and eastern United States later that day.

The storm is forecast to drop 2-4 in (50-100 mm) of rain, with isolated maximums of up to 6 in (150 mm), across the central Gulf Coast into the mid-Atlantic, including the central Appalachians and the Ohio Valley, through 29 October. The rainfall is expected to produce significant and widespread flash and urban flooding as well as localized river and stream flooding across this region. In addition, sporadic tornadoes are anticipated over portions of southeastern Louisiana and Mississippi, southern Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle through 28 October.

The following watches and warnings are in effect: a Hurricane Warning for the area from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Alabama-Mississippi border, including the New Orleans metropolitan area and lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain; a Tropical Storm Warning from the Alabama-Mississippi border to Bay County, Florida; a Tropical Storm Watch from west of Morgan City to Intracoastal City, Louisiana; and a Storm Surge Warning from the mouth of the Atchafalaya River to Navarre, Florida, including Mobile and Pensacola bays as well as lakes Borgne and Pontchartrain.

United States (Security threat level – 2): On 27 October 2020, officials in Denver, Colorado, tightened coronavirus-related restrictions due to a recent surge in COVID-19 infections in the city. Under the new restrictions, restaurants, retail stores and offices are allowed to operate at 50% capacity. Meanwhile, indoor gatherings are limited to 25 people, and outdoor gatherings are limited to 75 people. Gatherings in public spaces without designated occupancy limits are allowed no more than five unrelated people.

United States (Security threat level – 2): On 27 October 2020, widespread demonstrations continued for a second consecutive night across Philadelphia, the largest city in the state of Pennsylvania, following the police shooting death of a Black man the day before. Hundreds of demonstrators marched to the 18th district police station near the intersection of South 55th Street and Pine Street, while others gathered at Malcolm X Park. Minor clashes were reported near the intersection of South 52nd Street and Market Street, and riot police deployed pepper spray and brandished batons to disperse protesters in a brief standoff. There were no reports of widespread clashes or violence. Authorities advised residents in the 12th, 16th, 18th, 19th, 24th, 25th and 26th districts — comprising portions of northeast and west Philadelphia — to remain indoors amid reports of widespread looting, with large crowds reported in the Port Richmond area. Officials have deployed additional officers and mobilized the Philadelphia National Guard to assist in containing the unrest.


Thailand / Myanmar (Security threat levels – 3 / 4): On 28 October 2020, Thailand’s Cabinet extended an existing nationwide health state of emergency through 30 November. The measure was first imposed in March and was set to expire on 31 October before being extended. The emergency declaration enables authorities to implement various coronavirus-related restrictions on businesses, movement and the general public without going through an interagency approval process in order to respond more quickly to localized outbreaks.

On 27 October authorities in Myanmar extended an ongoing ban on international commercial flights into or out of the country through 30 November. The ban — first imposed on 30 March — was set to expire on 1 November. Cargo and repatriation flights are exempt from the order. In addition, all domestic commercial flights remain suspended at least until 15 November, and the country’s land borders are closed.

Vietnam / Laos (Security threat levels – 3 / 3): As of 0900 UTC on 28 October 2020, Typhoon Molave was located approximately 75 km (50 mi) southwest of Da Nang, Vietnam, according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, the storm was moving west-northwest at 26 kph (16 mph) and was generating maximum sustained winds of 130 kph, with gusts of up to 157 kph. On its current forecast path, the storm is expected to rapidly weaken as it moves inland through southern Laos by late afternoon on 28 October and through eastern Thailand by early morning on 29 October before dissipating later that afternoon.

Typhoon Molave made landfall near the city of Quang Ngai, approximately 100 km south of Da Nang, during the afternoon on 28 October, generating winds of up to 145 kph and storm surges of up to 6 m (20 ft). The storm damaged dozens of structures, downed power lines and uprooted trees as it moved inland, knocking out power across central Vietnam. Authorities evacuated at least 375,000 people, canceled hundreds of flights, and closed beaches and schools ahead of the storm’s arrival. At least two people were killed and two fishing vessels carrying a total of 26 people were reported missing after disappearing off the coast.


Italy / Russia (Security threat levels – 3 / 3): On 27 October 2020, demonstrators gathered in Rome’s Piazza del Popolo to protest Italy’s coronavirus-related restrictions. Approximately 100 hooded demonstrators threw firecrackers and smoke bombs as they clashed with police officers. Authorities used water cannons and baton charges to disperse the crowd. Demonstrators set fire to trash cans and destroyed scooters and bicycles as they retreated toward Piazzale Flaminio and dispersed. There were no reports of casualties.

In Russia, the government on 27 October imposed a nationwide face mask mandate due to a recent increase in COVID-19 infections in the country. Until further notice, face masks are mandatory in public spaces, parking lots, elevators and on public transportation. Additionally, entertainment venues, including bars and restaurants, are only permitted to operate between 0600-2300 local time.


Benin (Security threat level – 3): On 27 October 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Cotonou issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “The U.S. Embassy in Cotonou has received reports that demonstrators plan to march in urban areas throughout Benin, including Cotonou and Porto Novo, on Saturday, October 31, 2020, as part of a national women’s march. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.”

Saudi Arabia (Security threat level – 3): On 28 October 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows: “The Embassy is tracking reports of possible missiles or drones that may be headed toward Riyadh today, October 28. The Embassy urges American citizens to stay alert, and to immediately review and take necessary precautions.”

To read the full text of the warning please click here .