Worldview Security Update – September 18, 2019
18-Sep-19

AMERICAS

Bermuda (Security threat level – 1): As of 0900 local time (1200 UTC) on 18 September 2019, Hurricane Humberto — a Category 3 storm — was located approximately 390 km (240 mi) west of Bermuda and was moving east-northeast at a speed of 26 kph (16 mph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, Humberto was generating maximum sustained winds of 185 kph with higher gusts. The latest forecasts suggest that the center of Humberto will pass "just to the northwest and north of Bermuda" on the evening of 18-19 September. Humberto is projected to remain a major hurricane until the early hours of 19 September before beginning to weaken later that day. Hurricane-generated swells will increase along the coast of Bermuda on 18 September and may cause flooding along the southeastern coast; these swells could produce hazardous surf and riptide conditions in the aforementioned areas. Storm surge and tidal waves along the southern coast could raise water levels by 30-90 cm (1-3 ft). A Hurricane Warning has been issued for Bermuda, where 50-100 mm (2-4 in) of rain, with isolated maximums of up to 150 mm, remains in the forecast. Bermuda’s minister of national security announced that all government schools and offices will be closed beginning at 1200 local time on 18 September in preparation for the storm and that the high school CedarBridge Academy will serve as a shelter beginning at 1700 local time.

Mexico (Security threat level – 4): As of 0700 local time (1200 UTC) on 18 September 2019, Tropical Storm Lorena was located approximately 225 km (140 mi) southwest of the city of Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, and was moving northwest at about 22 kph (14 mph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, Humberto was generating maximum sustained winds of 95 kph with higher gusts. According to the most recent forecasts, Lorena will move at a slower speed to the west during the next 48 hours and will move near or over the southwestern coast of Mexico on 19 September. The storm is projected to produce 130-255 mm (5-10 in) of rain, with isolated maximums of up to 380 mm, along the coastal areas of the Mexican states of Guerrero, Michoacán, Colima and Jalisco. The heavy rainfall could result in dangerous flash floods and mudslides; large swells will likely affect portions of the southwestern coast for the next 48 hours and may cause dangerous surf and rip current conditions.

A Hurricane Watch has been issued from the city of Punta San Telmo to the municipality of Cabo Corrientes, and a Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for areas between Zihuatanejo and Cabo Corrientes. Tropical storm conditions are likely to affect the southern portion of the warning area on 18 September; hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area by the morning of 19 September.

United States (Security threat level – 2): On 17 September 2019, Tropical Storm Imelda came ashore near Freeport, Texas, located approximately 60 mi (100 km) south of the city of Houston, with maximum wind speeds of 40 mph (65 kph) and has since weakened to become a tropical depression. The storm brought heavy rainfall to Harris County — where Houston is located — especially in southeastern areas, overnight on 17-18 September. While there have been no reports of significant disruptions in the region as of early on 18 September, a number of schools and colleges in Harris County and nearby coastal counties of Brazoria, Chambers and Galveston have suspended classes for the day due to inclement weather conditions.

According to the National Hurricane Center’s latest advisory, as of 0400 local time (0900 UTC) on 18 September, Tropical Depression Imelda was located approximately 25 mi (40 km) north-northwest of Houston. At that time, Imelda was moving north at a speed of 5 mph (7 kph) and had maximum sustained winds of 30 mph with higher gusts. On the current forecast track, the depression will continue moving in a north-northwesterly direction and gradually weaken over the next 48 hours. Approximately 6-12 inches (150-300 mm) of rain, with isolated maximums of up to 18 inches, is in the forecast across parts of eastern Texas, including the Galveston and Houston areas; the heavy rainfall could cause life-threatening flash floods. At present, flash flood watches are in effect for areas in southeastern Texas and far southwestern Louisiana.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Zimbabwe (Security threat level – 4): On 17 September 2019, the Zimbabwean government deployed military doctors to state-owned hospitals across the country to provide services amid an ongoing labor action organized by the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA). The union launched the work stoppage in the beginning of this month to demand improved working conditions and higher wages. The work stoppage has significantly affected medical service provision in the capital Harare, particularly at Harare Central Hospital and Parirenyatwa Hospital.

Street demonstrations have accompanied the strike since the alleged kidnapping of the ZHDA president on 14 September. On the morning of 18 September riot police officers in central Harare blocked hundreds of protesting doctors at the intersection of Josiah Tongogara and Mazowe streets, as the group attempted to march to Parliament from Parirenyatwa Hospital to deliver a petition calling on the government to locate the missing ZHDA president and address other demands. Protesting doctors allege that government officials abducted him as part of a campaign of repression against civil society groups in the country; the ZHDA president led the countrywide doctor strike over inadequate pay and poor working conditions. Authorities deny any involvement in his disappearance and investigators are working to locate him. The ZHDA plans to continue the strike until its president is found and its demands are fulfilled.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Ethiopia (Security threat level – 4): On 18 September 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Ethiopia, which reads in part as follows: “An outbreak of Chikungunya fever has been reported in Dire Dewa by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health as of September 2019. Travelers to this area should take steps to avoid mosquito bites . For the latest updates and advice, visit the NaTHNaC website . "