Costa Rica (Security threat level – 3): As of 26 July 2021, heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding have displaced thousands of residents in the provinces of Alajuela, Cartago, Limon, and Heredia. More than 3,000 people have taken refuge in 52 government shelters. Flood waters severely damaged a bridge on National Route 36 in Limón province, cutting off access to cities located in the southern part of the province. Authorities are constructing an emergency bridge that is expected to be completed in the coming days. Thus far, there has been one weather-related fatality; an individual died in the district of Las Horquets, located in the Sarapiquí area of Heredia province, after falling into a fast-moving river.
Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 23 July 2021, mourners sheltered in their vehicles following apparent gunfire at the funeral for President Jovenel Moïse in the coastal city of Cap-Haitien. Delegates from the U.S. government left the ceremony earlier than planned in response to the incident. Meanwhile, security personnel used tear gas in an unsuccessful attempt to disperse protesters outside of the private compound where the funeral service was being held. Protesters demanding justice for Moïse set fire to at least one business in the area and looted nearby stores. No further protests were reported over the weekend.
Mexico (Security threat level – 4): As of 26 July 2021, Mexico City and 14 states have returned to tighter coronavirus-related restrictions in response to rising COVID-19 case numbers. The capital city and 13 states — including popular tourist locations in Baja California Sur and Quintana Roo — are designated as high-risk “orange,” the second-highest level on the government’s four-tier Traffic Light Monitoring System. Under the designation, nonessential businesses and activities are allowed to proceed at reduced capacity and residents are advised to stay home if possible. Hotels, gyms and restaurants are limited to at most 50% of capacity; restaurants are required to close by 2200 local time (0300 UTC) Monday through Saturday and by 1800 local time on Sunday. Outdoors tour groups may have no more than 20 participants. Additionally, Sinaloa state is designated as a maximum-risk “red” location, with tighter restrictions in place than in the “orange” locations. Further details regarding the stoplight system and state designations can be found (in Spanish) at this link.
China (Security threat level – 3): As of 1700 local time (0900 UTC) on 26 July 2021, In-fa has been downgraded from a typhoon to a tropical storm and was located approximately 65 km (40 mi) west-southwest of Shanghai, according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, In-fa was moving north-northwest at 6 kph (3 mph) and was generating maximum sustained winds of 65 kph, with gusts of up to 83 kph. On its current forecast path, the storm is expected to continue northwest through 28 July before shifting northeast.
In-fa made landfall on 25 July in Zhejiang province near the city of Zhoushan, located approximately 150 km (90 mi) south of Shanghai. Heavy rainfall and strong winds have been reported in areas along the storm’s path, but there have been no reports of casualties or significant damage. In response to the storm, authorities canceled flights at Shanghai Pudong International Airport (ZSPD/PVG), Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (ZSSS/SHA) and Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (ZSHC/HGH). Public transportation has also been suspended in cities across Zhejiang province.
Indonesia (Security threat level – 4): On 25 July 2021, President Joko Widodo extended restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 until 2 August. Under the restrictions, most nonessential businesses, beaches, parks, places of worship and tourist attractions are closed, while indoor dining at restaurants and outdoor sport activities are banned. However, markets and restaurants with outdoor areas, as well as some nonessential businesses, including laundromats, salons and auto repair shops, will be permitted to reopen as of 26 July. Face masks are mandatory in all public spaces.
Japan (Security threat level – 1): As of 1800 local time (0900 UTC) on 26 July 2021, Typhoon Nepartak was located approximately 650 km (405 mi) east of Yokosuka and was moving west-northwest at 31 kph (20 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Nepartak was generating maximum sustained winds of 65 kph, with gusts of up to 83 kph. On its current forecast path, the storm is expected to make landfall near Sendai on 27 July. As the storm approaches, Japanese authorities have issued severe weather warnings regarding heavy rainfall, strong winds and turbulent seas, which are expected to persist at least through 29 July. Officials in the eastern city of Atami – located approximately 90 km southwest of Tokyo — have ordered the evacuation of low-lying areas at risk of flooding.
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
Tunisia (Security threat level – 3): On 25 July 2021, police officers clashed with anti-government protesters demanding the resignation of the government over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple cities. In the capital Tunis, police officers deployed pepper spray in clashes with protesters, who threw stones at officers. Protesters attacked local offices of the Ennahda party – the largest party in parliament – in the cities of El Kef, Monastir, Sfax, Sousse and Touzeur. There were no reports of casualties.
Tunisia (Security threat level – 3): On the night of 25 July 2021, President Kais Saied announced the dismissal of Prime Minister Hicham Mechini and the suspension of parliament for 30 days in response to large-scale protests in several cities throughout the country. In the capital Tunis, thousands of people marched in the streets calling for social, political and economic reforms. Demonstrators clashed with police officers by throwing rocks and other projectiles at security forces, while police officers responded by firing tear gas and detaining several people. Security forces erected blockades along all streets leading to Avenue Bourguiba — a central location in the capital for protesters during the 2011 Arab Spring — as well as near the parliament building on Avenue Habib Bourguiba. Unverified social media videos showed Ennahda political offices — the largest political party in parliament — set alight in several cities, and military convoys being deployed in the city of Bardo, located in western metro Tunis.
According to local media sources, Pro-Ennahda supporters and anti-Ennahda protesters clashes outside of the parliament building as security forces attempted to keep demonstrators separated. A spokesperson for the Heart of Tunisia political party joined with Ennahda calling for parliament to reconvene. In attempt to defy Saied’s suspension of parliament, several lawmakers attempted to enter the parliament building; however, the lawmakers were denied entrance into the building by security services personnel. Elsewhere in Tunisia, unverified social media videos showed government soldiers surrounding the ministry of the interior building and Tunis Afrique Presse — the state-owned news agency in Tunisia.
Analyst Comment: Tunisia is experiencing its largest protests since the 2011 Arab Spring. Government soldiers are likely to remain deployed in several cities as protests, and altercations between supporters of President Saied and former Prime Minister Mechini are highly likely. President Saied is expected to announce a new prime minister within the coming days. Saied’s choice for prime minister will likely increase protests among supports of Ennahda, especially if Saied’s choice is a member of a rival political party.
South Africa (Security threat level – 4): On 25 July 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa loosened nationwide restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19. Under the restrictions, nonessential businesses, such as bars, gyms, and restaurants, are permitted to reopen, interprovincial travel is permitted to resume, the sale of alcohol is allowed between 1000-1800 local time (0800-1600 UTC) from Monday through Thursday, and gatherings are limited to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. Meanwhile, the nightly 2200-0400 local time curfew and the requirement to wear face masks in public spaces remain in effect until further notice.