Worldview Security Update – September 15, 2020
15-Sep-20

AMERICAS

Bermuda (Security threat level – 1): As of the morning of 15 September 2020, more than 7,000 homes and businesses in Bermuda, particularly those located in central parishes, remain without electricity following the passage of Hurricane Paulette the previous day. Paulette made landfall in Bermuda as a Category 1 storm and strengthened into a Category 2 storm while ashore as it gradually moved toward the north. Minor storm-related damage occurred on the island, but there were no reports of significant injuries or deaths. L.F. Wade International Airport (TXKF/BDA) is expected to resume operations at 1200 local time (1500 UTC).

As of 0600 local time on 15 September, Hurricane Paulette had maintained its strength as a Category 2 storm and was located approximately 655 km (405 mi) northeast of Bermuda, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, the hurricane was tracking northeast at 31 kph (20 mph) and had maximum sustained winds of 165 kph, with higher gusts. The hurricane is currently forecast to continue moving northeast or east-northeast over the next 48 hours before turning southeastward by late on 17 September. Paulette is expected to weaken rapidly beginning on 16 September. Storm-generated swells are forecast to continue affecting coastal areas of Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the eastern coast of the U.S. through the evening hours of 15 September. These swells could create hazardous surf and riptide conditions.

Panama (Security threat level – 3): On 14 September 2020, authorities annulled gender-based movement restrictions they had imposed months earlier as part of the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. The restrictions had been in effect since March. A nightly curfew from 2300-0500 local time (0400-0900 UTC) will be in place Monday through Saturday and a 24-hour curfew will be in place on Sundays in all provinces except Bocas del Toro, Colon, and Chiriquí. The latter provinces are subject to a longer nightly curfew from 1900-0500 local time and a 24-hour curfew on weekends.

United States (Security threat level – 2): As of 0700 local time (1200 UTC) on 15 September 2020, Hurricane Sally was located approximately 65 mi (110 km) east of the entrance of the Mississippi River, and about 105 miles south-southeast of Biloxi, Mississippi, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, the storm was tracking northwest at 2 mph (4 kph) and was posting maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, with higher gusts. On the current forecast path, Sally will pass near the coast of southeastern Louisiana and is expected to make landfall near the Louisiana-Mississippi border as a Category 1 storm by the morning of 16 September.

U.S. President Donald Trump on 14 September issued emergency declarations for parts of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi — mandatory evacuation orders are in place for low-lying coastal areas of all three states. The governor of Florida declared a state of emergency in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, located in the westernmost part of the Florida Panhandle. Flights at Florida’s Pensacola International Airport (KPNS/PNS) and Alabama’s Mobile Regional Airport (KMOB/MOB) have been canceled through 15 September.

Sally is expected to produce 10-20 in (250-500 mm) of rain, with isolated maximums of up to 30 inches, along and just inland of the central Gulf Coast in areas from the western Florida Panhandle to far-southeastern Mississippi. Meanwhile, 4-8 inches of rain, with isolated maximums of up to 12 inches, is expected farther inland across parts of southeastern Mississippi, southern and central Alabama, northern Georgia and the western parts of North and South Carolina. Although Sally weakened to a Category 1 storm, it is expected to produce life-threatening storm surges, hurricane-force winds and flash flooding along the Gulf Coast. Sally also has the potential to produce tornadoes, particularly in coastal areas of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle through the morning of 15 September.

A Hurricane Warning is currently in effect for areas east of the entrance of the Pearl River to Navarre, Florida. A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for the entrance of the Mississippi River to the Okaloosa-Walton County line in Florida, as well as for Alabama’s Mobile Bay. Meanwhile, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for areas east of Navarre to Indian Pass and for the entrance of the Pearl River westward to Grand Isle, Louisiana, including Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and the New Orleans metropolitan area.

AUSTRALASIA

Australia (Security threat level – 2): On 14 September 2020, Victoria state transitioned to statewide level 3 restrictions from level 4. Residents are now allowed to hold outdoor gatherings with up to five attendees. In the state capital Melbourne, which remains under more restrictive measures, residents may exercise outside for up to two hours per day, and a nightly curfew begins at 2100 local time (1100 UTC) rather than 2000 local time. However, stay-at-home orders remain in effect for the city.

EUROPE

Denmark (Security threat level – 2): On 15 September 2020, Danish officials announced new restrictions for Copenhagen and 16 surrounding municipalities to contain the spread of COVID-19. From 17 September to 1 October, bars and restaurants are required to close by 2200 local time (0000 UTC) and face masks are mandatory in these establishments. There will be increased police presence in major nightlife areas to enforce the new restrictions, which will be in effect in Copenhagen and the surrounding municipalities of Albertslund, Ballerup, Brøndby, Dragør, Frederiksberg, Gentofte, Gladsaxe, Glostrup, Herlev, Hvidovre, Høje-Taastrup, Ishøj, Lyngby-Tårbæk, Rødovre, Tårnby and Vallensbæk.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

China (Security threat level – 3): On 15 September 2020, the U.S. Department of State updated its travel advisory for Hong Kong to “Level 3: Reconsider Travel” from “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution” due to the national security law imposed in Hong Kong on 1 July. A statement issued by the U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macao reads in part as follows:

“The Travel Advisory for Hong Kong has been updated to reflect health and security conditions on the ground. The Travel Advisory is now at Level 3: Reconsider Travel due to COVID-19 and arbitrary enforcement of local laws. We assess that the risks to U.S. citizens regarding arbitrary enforcement of laws are now the same as in the rest of the PRC. Please read the entire Travel Advisory, available here . ”

Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 14 September 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Bamako issued a Demonstration Alert that reads in part as follows:

“Location: Monument de l’Independance and the French Embassy

“Event: The U.S. Embassy has heard reports that the Mouvement Populaire du 4 Septembre (MP4) has called for a rally on Tuesday, September 15, at 2:00 PM at the Monument de l’Independance to express support for Mali’s de facto authority, the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP).

“Additionally, the Popular African Youth Movement (MPJA) has called for a sit-in front of the French Embassy on Thursday, September 17, at 10:00 AM to denounce French military forces.

“Spontaneous demonstrations are also possible in other areas of Mali. Demonstrations sometimes turn violent, resulting in the burning of tires, clashes with the police, blockage on the roads and bridges, throwing of rocks at vehicles, the deployment of tear gas, and small arms fire.”

Republic of Congo (Security threat level – 3): On 14 September 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Brazzaville issued a Health Alert regarding the extension of the state of health emergency and the reopening of air borders, which reads in part as follows:

"The government of The Republic of Congo extended a State of Health Emergency until September 27 to limit the spread of COVID-19 and reopened air borders for international flights.

"The Congolese air borders opened on August 24 for international flights. International air carriers are resuming some services into and from Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire.

  • Air France will operate flights between Paris and Brazzaville four days per week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday) with stops in Kinshasa on the same days.
  • Ethiopian will operate flights between Addis Ababa and Brazzaville four days each week (Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) and will continue stopping to Pointe Noire before proceeding to Addis Ababa.
  • Asky will provide service to Brazzaville Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays and flights from Brazzaville Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

"These measures may change without notice. Please check with your airline before travelling.

"Inbound passengers must present a negative COVID-19 test from within 72 hours of departure upon arrival.

"Outbound passengers requiring testing can go to:

  • Brazzaville : Laboratoire National de Sante Publique or Fondation Congolaise de la Recherche Medicale.
  • Pointe-Noire: National Public Health Laboratory located at: Hôpital General de Loandili or Laboratoire de la foundation Gombes.

"Please check our Covid page for the latest information on quarantine. https://cg.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

"Passengers in transit will be quarantined at their expense at designated facilities until they resume their travels."

The full text of the Health Alert is available here .