Worldview Security Update – September 22, 2020
22-Sep-20

AMERICAS

Colombia (Security threat level – 4): On 21 September 2020, thousands of demonstrators rallied in several cities amid a countrywide strike organized to protest police brutality, among other issues. In the capital Bogotá, police officers deployed tear gas to disperse hundreds of demonstrators near the Plaza de Bolívar, where demonstrators and police officers engaged in clashes. Demonstrators also erected burning barricades in the city. Police officers arrested at least 10 demonstrators. Additionally, individuals looted a nearby bank earlier in the day. A total of 10 mostly peaceful gatherings occurred in the city, drawing more than 2,000 participants. Elsewhere in the country, approximately 5,000 people marched to Medellín’s Parque de Las Luces; protesters threw stones at a police station in the city, but there were no notable clashes. Additional demonstrations occurred in the cities of Barranquilla, Bucaramanga and Cali. Most of the demonstrations concluded peacefully, and there were no reports of injuries or deaths.

United States (Security threat level – 2): At approximately 2200 local time on 21 September 2020 (0300 UTC on 22 September), Tropical Storm Beta made landfall with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (75 kph) near the southernmost area of the Matagorda Peninsula, located off the southeastern coast of Texas along the Gulf of Mexico between Corpus Christi and Galveston, producing heavy rainfall in the region. Multiple stretches of highways and major thoroughfares in Galveston County and the nearby greater Houston area are impassable due to heavy rainfall and subsequent flash floods. Video footage showed multiple homes and vehicles inundated in Houston, particularly in the southern neighborhoods. Thus far, there have been no reports of significant injuries or deaths.

As of 0700 local time on 22 September, Beta was located approximately 10 mi (15 km) west-southeast of Victoria, Texas, and about 35 miles west of the city of Palacios, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, the storm was moving to the northwest at 3 mph and had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, with higher gusts. On its current forecast track, Beta will remain stationary inland over Texas through 22 September, after which it will begin gradually tracking toward the east-northeast. The storm is forecast to move inland over southeastern Texas through 23 September and over Louisiana and Mississippi beginning on the night of 23 September and continuing through 25 September.

The storm is expected to produce an additional 6-12 in (150-300 mm) of rain, with isolated maximums of up to 20 inches, in areas from the mid to upper Texas coastline. Significant flash floods are likely to continue in these areas on 22 September. Additionally, 3-5 inches of rain is expected farther inland over the Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas region and the Lower Mississippi Valley. Storm surges of between 2-4 ft (0.6-1.2 m) are possible from Sargent, Texas, to Sabine Pass, including Galveston Bay; between 1-3 ft from Sabine Pass to Ocean Springs, Mississippi — including Sabine Lake, Calcasieu, Lake, Vermilion Bay, Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas; between 1-3 ft from Baffin Bay, Texas, to Sargent — including Copano Bay, Aransas Bay, San Antonio Bay, Matagorda Bay and Corpus Christi Bay; 1-2 ft along areas from the entrance of the Rio Grande to Baffin Bay. The combination of heavy rainfall and the storm surge will likely create hazardous conditions along the aforementioned areas. Tornadoes are also possible in coastal areas near upper Texas and southwestern Louisiana later on 22 September.

A Tropical Storm Warning is currently in effect in Texas for areas from Sargent to Sabine Pass, while a Storm Surge Warning is in effect from Port Aransas to Sabine Pass.

ASIA

Japan (Security threat level – 1): As of 1800 local time (0900 UTC) on 22 September 2020, Tropical Storm Dolphin was located approximately 915 km (565 mi) south-southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. At that time, Dolphin had maximum sustained winds of 111 kph (60 mph), with gusts of up to 139 kph, and was tracking north at 14 kph, according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. On its current track, the storm is expected to weaken slightly before making landfall in Tokyo on 24 September. Japan has experienced heavy rains in the past month, causing mudslides and widespread flooding. Dolphin is projected to bring additional heavy rain.

AUSTRALASIA

New Zealand (Security threat level – 1): On 22 September 2020, all areas in New Zealand — except for Auckland — transitioned to Alert Level 1 COVID-19 restrictions, which is the lowest level on a four-tier scale. Under Alert Level 1, most restrictions on gatherings and businesses are lifted. Beginning on 24 September, Auckland will transition to normal Alert Level 2 restrictions until further notice. The city is currently under a modified Alert Level 2 status with additional restrictions on gatherings. Under the new orders in Auckland, gatherings will be limited to 100 attendees and face masks are mandatory in public; face masks remain optional for residents in the rest of the country. Additional details on restrictions can be found here .

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Canada (Security threat level – 2): On 20 September 2020, the U.S. Consulate General in Halifax issued a Weather Alert that reads in part as follows:

"Location: Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island)

"Hurricane Teddy is expected to impact parts of the Atlantic provinces Tuesday, September 22 and Wednesday, September 23. Based on the latest forecast guidance, Hurricane Teddy is expected to reach offshore waters south of Nova Scotia as a category one hurricane on Tuesday, September 22 in the afternoon. It is then expected to move through eastern Nova Scotia and southwestern Newfoundland as a strong post-tropical storm Tuesday night and Wednesday, September 23.

"As with any hurricane or tropical storm, expect strong winds and power outages, heavy rains, and storm surge with possible flooding, and difficult travel conditions on land, sea and air throughout Atlantic Canada. Storm surge is likely for parts of the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia on Tuesday, September 22, and southwestern Newfoundland on Wednesday, September 23. There is also a chance of storm surge for Prince Edward Island and the Magdalen Islands late on Tuesday, September 22."

Namibia (Security threat level – 2): On 22 September 2020, the U.K. Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) updated its travel advice for Namibia to read in part as follows: "On arrival in Namibia, tourists are required to provide contact details and information on their itinerary for the duration of their stay. You must be available for a COVID-19 test to be taken on day 5 following entry into Namibia; must proceed results should be received on day 7, and provided that the result is negative, you may continue with your holiday as planned."

Slovenia (Security threat level – 2): On 22 September 2020, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Slovenia, which reads in part as follows: “Protective masks (or other material covering the nose and mouth) must be worn in indoor public areas, on public transport and in busy public outdoor spaces such as high streets, where maintaining social distance is not possible.”