Worldview Security Update – October 8, 2020
8-Oct-20

AMERICAS

Costa Rica (Security threat level – 3): As of 8 October 2020, anti-government protests and roadblocks continue to disrupt vehicular transportation throughout Costa Rica, including in the capital San José. The public security minister stated that local organized crime members have infiltrated the protest actions and are responsible for violent clashes between police officers and protesters, during which approximately 100 police officers have been injured. At select roadblocks, individuals are extorting illegal tolls from travelers before permitting transit. Travelers should expect significant transportation delays throughout Costa Rica. Widespread demonstrations have continued in the country since 30 September, disrupting traffic in major cities and on key highways, including on National Route 32 — which connects San Jose to the provinces of Heredia and Limón — National Route 27 — which connects the city and port of Caldera to San José and the Pan-American Highway. Protest leaders from the opposition National Rescue Movement group remain unsatisfied with President Carlos Alvarado’s actions to date and maintain that demonstrations will continue until the president signs a document meeting their demands regarding the country’s economic policies.

United States (Security threat level – 2): As of 0700 local time (1200 UTC) on 8 October 2020, Hurricane Delta was located approximately 425 mi (685 km) south of Cameron, Louisiana, and was moving northwest at 15 mph (24 kph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, Delta had maximum sustained winds of 100 mph, with higher gusts. On its current forecast track, the storm is expected to begin turning toward the north-northeast by early on 9 October and make a second landfall along the southwestern Louisiana coast as a Category 1 storm by late afternoon.

Hurricane Delta made its first landfall in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo on the morning of 7 October. The storm knocked down powerlines and felled more than 1,000 trees, causing 266,000 residents to lose power. Authorities stated that 80% of those who lost power due to the storm would have it restored by 8 October. There have been reports of flooding in the tourist cities of Playa del Carmen and Cozumel. In the states of Quintana Roo and Yucatan, 2,700 people stayed in government shelters, while approximately 39,000 residents and tourists were evacuated from the two states before the storm arrived. There have been no reports of significant injuries or deaths. Cancún International Airport (MMUN/CUN), Cozumel International Airport (MMCZ/CZM) and Chetumal International Airport (MMCM/CTM) have resumed operations.

Delta is forecast to produce the following rainfall accumulations during 9-10 October: 5-10 in (125-255 mm), with isolated maximums of 15 inches, for parts of southwest into south central Louisiana; 3-6 inches, with isolated maximums of 10 inches for far eastern Texas, northern Louisiana, southern Arkansas and western Mississippi; and 1-3 inches, with higher isolated maximums for parts of the Ohio Valley and western mid-Atlantic.

The following warnings are currently in effect: a Hurricane Warning from Sabine Pass, Texas, to Morgan City, Louisiana; a Storm Surge Warning from Sabine Pass to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, including Vermillion Bay and the following lakes: Borgne, Calcasieu, Maurepas and Pontchartrain; and a Tropical Storm Warning for San Luis Pass, Texas, to Sabine Pass, east of Morgan City to the Pearl River and for lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain. Additionally, a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the entrance of the Pearl River east to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

United States (Security threat level – 2): On the evening of 7 October 2020, police officers deployed tear gas and nonlethal munitions to disperse protesters gathered in central Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, located approximately 7 mi (11 km) west of the city of Milwaukee. Authorities declared the gathering an unlawful assembly and called on protesters to disperse. Authorities also reported that some demonstrators threw stones and other projectiles at police lines and attempted to damage buildings and storefronts as the crowd moved through the area. However, there were no reports of significant injuries. The protest occurred despite a citywide nightly curfew, which started at 1900 local time (0000 UTC on 8 October), to denounce the Milwaukee County district attorney’s decision not to file criminal charges against a police officer over the February shooting death of a 17-year-old Black male. Wisconsin National Guard personnel remain deployed in Wauwatosa, and a citywide nightly curfew from 1900 to 0600 local time is in effect through the morning of 12 October.

ASIA

Indonesia (Security threat level – 4): On 8 October 2020, protests continued for a third consecutive day against a labor law passed on 5 October. The demonstrators claim that the law — which eases several business, labor and environmental regulations in an attempt to spur foreign investment — will negatively impact workers and the environment, and are demanding its immediate repeal. In the capital Jakarta, protesters gathered near Merdeka Palace, one of the presidential residences, and threw stones at police officers who responded with tear gas and water cannons. There were also reports of damage to public transportation facilities as well as some police stations. Additional demonstrations and subsequent clashes were also reported in the cities of Surabaya, Medan and Bandung.

Japan (Security threat level – 1): As of 1700 local time (0900 UTC) on 8 October 2020, Typhoon Chan-Hom was located approximately 350 km (215 mi) southeast of Kagoshima, Japan, and 670 km (415 mi) southwest of Osaka, according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, the typhoon was moving north at 17 kph (11 mph) and had maximum sustained winds of 148 kph, with gusts of up to 185 kph. Chan-Hom is forecast to continue on its current path before shifting northeast by 9 October and passing along the southern coast of Japan during 9-11 October. The storm is not currently forecast to make landfall; however, strong winds, high tides and heavy rain is likely in areas of southern Japan, including the islands of Honshu and Kyushu, especially along the coastline.

EUROPE

Spain (Security threat level – 3): On 8 October 2020, a court in Madrid annulled a central government order imposing lockdown measures on the capital and its nine surrounding municipalities to curb the spread of COVID-19. Under the Ministry of Health’s order — which was issued on 30 September — regional authorities barred residents from entering or leaving the area without a valid reason and imposed other restrictions on businesses. The regional government argued to the court that the ministry had no power to impose such curbs on a region, which would disrupt the region’s economy. Given the court’s ruling, regional authorities publicly stated that new COVID-19 measures would be announced on 9 October. Conversely, the central government is appealing the ruling, and Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez stated that his administration was weighing whether to re-implement a state of alarm.

Analyst Comment: Regional and central government authorities are likely to continue sparring over the legality of COVID-19 measures in Spain, which will generate significant confusion among businesses and residents. It is unclear if travel restrictions in Madrid will be reinstated, if the prime minister orders a state of alarm.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Azerbaijan (Security threat level – 3): On 8 October 2020, the U.K. government issued updated travel advice for Azerbaijan to include the following: "The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advise against all travel to: 

  • Fuzuli, Beylagan, Aghjabadi, Khojavand, Aghdam, Barda, Tartar, Yevlax, Mingechevir, Goranboy, Ganja, Goygol Shemkir, Dashkasan, Gadabay, Aghstafa, Samux, Tovuz, Qazak rayons.

"The FCDO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of Azerbaijan due to current military action and under the global advisory against international travel during the Coronavirus pandemic."

Slovenia (Security threat level – 2): On 7 October 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana issued a Health Alert regarding new entry and quarantine requirements, which reads in part as follows:

“Given a dramatic rise in Covid-19 cases, the Prime Minister announced a number of new restrictions, including:

  • Public and private gatherings limited to 10 persons (with religious services and weddings excepted)
  • Further limitations on numbers of persons in enclosed public spaces (shops, banks, post offices, etc.)
  • Only seated patrons will be served at bars and restaurants, with additional spacing between tables
  • No food or beverages can be served after in conjunction with events
  • Prohibition on visits to patients in certain hospitals or residents of certain nursing homes

“The government of Slovenia has prepared a series of increasing restrictions, as needed, that are tied to the number of active cases/hospitalized.

“The government also confirmed that travel from the United States to Slovenia remains limited to essential travel; tourist travel is not possible at this time. For further questions on this, travelers to Slovenia should contact the nearest Slovenian embassy."

The full text of the alert is available here .