Recent World Wide Alerts

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16.11.19  /  Medium  /  Italy – Severe Flooding in Venice


16.11.19 Italy Severe Flooding in Venice

On 15 November 2019, high tides and associated flooding in Venice have resulted in disruptions in the city for a third consecutive day. Tourist sites, such as St. Mark’s Square, and schools remain closed due to the new tide, which was measured to be 160 cm (5.3 ft) high. The U.S. Consulate General in Milan has warned that public services, hotels and restaurants in Venice may be closed, and that boat services to Venice Marco Polo Airport (LIPZ/VCE) may be disrupted due to the high tides. The previous high tide, which occurred on 12 November, flooded 80% of the city. A Red Alert is in effect for the Veneto region, which includes Venice, due to flooding as a result of high tides, strong winds and rain. Additional information regarding the Red Alert is available on the Italian Civil Protection Department’s website. Authorities have warned that very high tides are expected to continue over the next several days.

16.11.19  /    /  Colombia – Travel Alert

16.11.19 Colombia Travel Alert

On 14 November 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Colombia, which reads in part as follows: “A national strike has been called for Thursday 21 November. There may be significant disruption, especially in Bogotá. Airports may close and major highways may be blocked at short notice. Public demonstrations can be confrontational and turn violent. You should remain vigilant, avoid all demonstrations and monitor local media for the latest information.”

15.11.19  /  High  /  China – Protests Ongoing


15.11.19 China Protests Ongoing

As of late on 14 November 2019, anti-government protests are ongoing throughout Hong Kong. In the morning hours, police officers fired tear gas to disperse protesters at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. In addition, police officers claimed that assailants fired arrows at officers at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Elsewhere, protesters erected blockades near the entrance to the Cross-Harbour Tunnel between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, and set fire to toll booths. Mass Transit Railway (MTR) officials halted all services, except the Airport Express, by 2200 local time (1400 UTC). However, beginning at 2000 local time, the Airport Express only offered direct services between Hong Kong and Airport stations. Thus far, services at the Tai Wai, Lo Wu, and Lok Ma Chau MTR stations have been suspended, and significant disruptions are ongoing in Central, Tai Po, Yuen Long, Kowloon Tong and several other districts. As of the latest reports, a total of 40 people sought medical attention due to the injuries inflicted during the protest-related violence. In a related development, groups of masked individuals wielding telescopic batons attacked at least one protester in Sheung Shui shortly before noon local time. However, there were no reports of unrest. During the evening police officers fired tear gas in Mong Kok and Tuen Mun after clashing with protesters. A peaceful rally occurred at Edinburgh Place in Central to support paramedics and firefighters who have assisted during the protests. Earlier in the day, hundreds of protesters occupied Connaught Road in Central and King’s Road in Tai Koo around mid-day. Police officers dispersed the demonstrators by 1430 local time. Schools across the city are currently closed, with some stating that there will be no more classes for the rest of the year. Meanwhile, the Education Bureau announced that all schools would remain closed until 18 November. Thousands of students across the city have stockpiled food and makeshift weapons -- including bricks, Molotov cocktails, arrows with heads wrapped in cladding and catapults -- as they prepare for additional protests.

15.11.19  /  Medium  /  Sri Lanka – Security Alert


15.11.19 Sri Lanka Security Alert

On 14 November 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Colombo issued a Security Alert that reads in part as follows: “Location: Nationwide, Sri Lanka. “Event: The U.S. Embassy reminds American citizens of the potential for demonstrations before, during, and after the November 16, 2019, presidential election. There is no change to the current Level 2 Travel Advisory (“Exercise Increased Caution”).”

15.11.19  /  High  /  South Africa – South Africa’s State-Owned Air Carrier Cancels All Domestic and International Flights


15.11.19 South Africa South Africa’s State-Owned Air Carrier Cancels All Domestic and International Flights

As of 14 November 2019, South African Airways (SAA) -- South Africa’s state-owned air carrier -- has canceled all domestic and international flights on 15-16 November ahead of a planned indefinite strike by airline workers beginning on 15 November. Several unions that represent approximately 3,000 SAA employees called for the strike to demand increased pay and job security following an announcement that SAA plans to restructure the company and cut more than 900 jobs due to financial troubles. Cabin crew, check-in, ticketing and ground staff members are expected to participate in the labor action. The airline has urged passengers traveling during this period to contact the airline for rebooking. The strike is not expected to affect SAA’s partner airlines, including SA Express, Mango and SA Airlink.

14.11.19  /  Extreme  /  Afghanistan – Explosive Device Detonated in the Qasaba Area


14.11.19 Afghanistan Explosive Device Detonated in the Qasaba Area

On the morning of 13 November 2019, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) detonated in the Qasaba area of Kabul’s Police District 15. Local reports indicate that the blast targeted a vehicle owned by GardaWorld, a Canadian security firm, and killed at least seven local employees. At least 10 others, including four foreign personnel, were also wounded. No group claimed responsibility for the attack; however, both the Taliban and the Islamic State actively target foreign entities in Kabul.
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