An explosion has been reported in the Parwan 2 area of the capital Kabul early on 25 January. Details are emerging.
Plan journeys accounting for disruption caused by the passage of Tropical Depression Eloiseover the coming days. The storm made landfall in south-central Mozambique on 23 January. It is forecast to impact north eastern South Africa, southern Zimbabwe, eastern Botswana and eSwatini on24-25 January. Weather agencies in multiple countries have issued warnings for heavy rainfall and flash flooding. Flight operations, road transport, electricity and telecommunications services are liable be affected. Closely monitor local weather forecasts and ensure access to essential supplies, including backup power and communication tools.
A rise in Salmonella cases have been reported in Salta province, mainly in Salta city. The source of the outbreak is yet to be identified. Symptoms of Salmonella infection include fever, abdominal pain and diarrhoea, usually between 12 and 72 hours after exposure. Occasionally severe illness can occur. Prevention is through selecting safe food and by following food safety practices when preparing food.
Staff in South Australia state should plan journeys accounting for potential disruption until at least 26 January, during the passage of a tropical low. The weakened weather system is forecast to reach South Australia early on 25 January. Heavy rain can be expected over the Flinders Ranges, south east of the North West Pastoral district, northern parts of Mid North and over parts of the northern agriculture area (all South Australia). Such conditions may trigger flash floods, particularly in low-lying and coastal areas. Flood warnings previously issued for neighbouring Western Australia state have been lifted.
Staff in urban centres, including Brisbane (Queensland state), Melbourne (Victoria state), Perth (Western Australia state) and Sydney (New South Wales state), on 26 January should plan journeys bypassing demonstrations on Australia Day, the country’s official national day. Gatherings will be held to demand greater recognition and rights for the indigenous community. The events are expected to be well attended and pass off peacefully. Associated travel disruption and heightened security measures should be anticipated amid COVID-19-related restrictions.
Staff in the capital Dhaka on 25 January should avoid a protest by the opposition Left Democratic Alliance (LDA) outside the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW). While the exact time of the event is unclear, such demonstrations are usually held in the afternoon. The LDA is demanding that free COVID-19 vaccines be provided to sugar mill workers. The protest is expected to be well attended and occur amid heightened security.
Plan journeys accounting for disruption in Santa Catarina state caused by heavy rains, severe flooding, and landslides. Heavy storms have affected the state since 17 January, resulting in flooding and landslides, especially within the greater Florianopolis area (Santa Catarina). Several roads are flooded, including Avenida Hercílio Luz and Rua Alvaro Milen da Silveira and SC-401. Landslides were reported in several neighbourhoods, including in Saco Grande where two people were killed. Power outages have been reported in affected areas. Reconfirm the status of routes before undertaking road travel, and allow additional time to complete journeys.
Demonstrations in the coming hours will be held in the commercial capital Sao Paulo (Sao Paulo state) and other urban centres. Participants will demand the impeachment of President Jair Bolsonaro over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The largest of these rallies will take place at Praca Charles Miller in Sao Paulo at 10.30 (local time). Likely flashpoints for protests in other cities include government buildings, central squares and main avenues. Right-wing activist groups have called for the gatherings, which should be avoided as a precaution and to minimise inconvenience.
Continue to exercise caution near South Shetland Islands (Antarctica) following recent earthquakes. According to the US Geological Survey, a magnitude 6.9 tremor occurred at a depth of six miles (10km) on 24 January, prompting the Chilean National Office of Emergency Management to issue a tsunami warning for the Antarctic territory. Subsequently, nearby Chilean bases in the Atlantic territory were evacuated. At least eight aftershocks have since been reported, the highest reaching magnitude 5.5. No damage or casualties have been reported.
Assignees in the capital San Jose on26 Januaryshould avoid a march by police officers to minimise travel disruption and exposure to potential unrest. Police officers affiliated with the National Association of Public and Private Sector Employees will march at09.00(local time) from the ANEP headquarters to theLegislative Assembly. The event is being organised to demand legislative reforms to improve labour conditions for police officers. Reconfirm routes before setting out due to the possibility of localised traffic disruption.
Anticipate heightened security measures and associated travel disruption in the run-up to and on the 25 January anniversary of the 2011 popular uprising. The former president Hosni Mubarak (in office 1981-2011) was removed from power as a result of the revolution. The authorities have renewed a state of emergency, effective as of 24 January. Additional security force personnel can be expected near key installations, major routes and protest flashpoints. The security forces are likely to arrest participants and disperse unauthorised gatherings, posing incidental risks to bystanders.
Staff in Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Lau, Lomaiviti Group and nearby islands in the coming days should anticipate heavy rainfall and associated disruption due to a low-pressure weather system. The Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) has issued a heavy rainfall warning for the aforementioned locations and a rainfall alert for the rest of Fiji Islands group. The weather system is expected to develop into a tropical depression by 28 January. Persistent heavy rain is liable to cause flash flooding in low-lying areas of Vanua Levu and Viti Levu islands.
Staff in the capital Tbilisi in the coming days should avoid protests against COVID-19-related restrictions. These are planned from 14.00 (local time) on 24 January and from 16.00 on 25 January at the Chancellery of the Government of Georgia. Participants are demanding that the government ease restrictions, including the ban on public transport. Another demonstration is scheduled for 16.00 on 24 January at Mziuri Park to demand the reopening of schools.
Plan journeys accounting for potential weather-related disruption until at least 25 January. The Hellenic National Meteorological Service (HNMS) has issued orange warnings (second highest on a four-tier scale) for localised severe thunderstorms, heavy rainfall and strong winds in the western Central and western Peloponnese regions, as well as on the Ionian islands. Yellow warnings (second lowest) have also been issued for localised heavy rainfall, strong winds and snow, particularly in mountainous areas, in the western Macedonia, Epirus and Thessaly regions, as well as on the north-east Aegean islands and the Dodecanese islands.
Continue to expect significant disruption amid ongoing farmers’ protests in the National Capital Region (NCR), which includes the capital New Delhi and parts of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh states. The government on 20 January proposed a 1.5-year suspension of the new farm laws. Farmers' unions, however, continue to demand a complete repeal of the farm laws. Farmers will hold a related rally, authorised by the New Delhi police, on 26 January to coincide withRepublic Day. The protesters intend to travel to the capital on tractors.
Expect heightened security and significant disruption on 26 January in the National Capital Region (NCR), which includes the capital New Delhi and parts of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh states, during tractor rallies by farmers (see separate report on ongoing protests by farmers in the country). The protests will coincide with Republic Day celebrations in the capital. The events will be held amid stringent security measures, and Delhi Traffic Police has issued an advisory for commuters.
Continue to exercise caution and anticipate disruption in North Sulawesi and West Sulawesi provinces following recent earthquakes. A magnitude 6.2 onshore earthquake struck near Mamuju city (West Sulawesi) on 15 January. A magnitude 7.0 offshore earthquake then hit close to Bitung city (North Sulawesi) on 21 January. At least 91 people were killed as a result of the Mamuju earthquake, while over 2,000 others were injured. Water outages have recently been reported in Mamuju, while power and telecommunications networks are recovering in both Mamuju and Majene cities (West Sulawesi). Essential businesses including grocery stores and gas stations have largely reopened in affected areas in West Sulawesi.
Staff in West Papua province in the coming hours should continue to exercise caution following a magnitude 5.0 earthquake at 03.42 (local time) on 25 January. The tremor struck near Teluk Bintunu regency at a depth of 29 miles (46 km). While no immediate significant damage or casualties has been reported, the full impact of the incident may not become clear until after the authorities have carried out a complete assessment in the affected areas. The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has advised the public to be cautious of possible aftershocks.
Employees are reminded of the need to exercise caution and minimise time spent in the vicinity of US military and diplomatic interests, following a fresh rocket attack. Three projectiles were fired overnight on 22-23 January towards the capital’s Baghdad International Airport (BGW), reportedly targeting US military interests. Two of the rockets landed near the airport, while the third landed in the al-Jihad neighbourhood, damaging a residence. No casualties were reported and no group has claimed responsibility. Staff should liaise with their dedicated security provider to ascertain the feasibility of essential movement and ensure access to the latest locally-sourced threat intelligence.
Continue to defer travel to Israel after the government approved a suspension of all passenger flights both in and out of the country from 00.00 (local time) on 26 January. This unprecedented measure is being implemented in response to recent developments involving COVID-19. It is expected to remain in place until at least 31 January and will include the closure of Ben Gurion Airport (TLV, Tel Aviv district). Only essential flights, such as those for freight and humanitarian purposes, may be permitted to operate during this period with special permission. Refer to the COVID-19 information within the Pandemic Information Site for full details of travel restrictions.
A senior security officer and his personal driver were killed and a civilian was injured on 21 January when their vehicle was ambushed by bandits inKapedo(Turkana county). The incident follows recent attacks on local residents and security force personnel in areas along the Turkana and Baringo county border. These attacks highlight the persistent threat of banditry and underscore the HIGH travel risk rating for the northern counties. Exercise heightened caution and take enhanced precautions when travelling within remote areas.
Anticipate further disruptive protests against COVID-19-related restrictions in the coming weeks, despite an ongoing curfew. Protesters in Tripoli (North governorate) blocked key locations on 23 January including the Tripoli-Miniyeh route, Palma Bridge and Abdul Hamid Karami. In Sidon (South governorate), demonstrators gathered by the Elia intersection to protest against the extended lockdown. In the capital Beirut, demonstrating taxi drivers on 20 January blocked the route to Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY) with their vehicles, stating lockdown measures have negatively affected their livelihoods. Further demonstrations are expected and should be avoided to minimise disruption.
Anticipate residual disruption in the coming days following the passage of former tropical storm Eloise. The storm made landfall early on 23 January near Beira (Sofala province) before moving south-west over central Mozambique and across the Zimbabwe border. At least nine people were reportedly killed in weather-related incidents in Beira. The National Meteorology Institute (INAM) has issued an alert for further heavy rain, thunderstorms and strong winds forecast for most of the country, including Maputo province, until at least 25 January. Such conditions are liable to exacerbate flooding, as well as associated disruption to overland travel and essential services, in already affected areas.
Employees in Nepal in the coming weeks should continue to avoid demonstrations linked to the dissolution of the House of Representatives (HoR, lower house of parliament). Members of a civil society group will hold a protest march on 25 January in the capital Kathmandu, from Kamal Pokhari to the prime minister’s residence in the Baluwatar area of the city. In addition, a faction of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), led by former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (known as ‘Prachanda’; in office 2008-09; 2016-17), has called for demonstrations until 5 February, including in Kathmandu.
Plan journeys avoiding an ongoing unruly protest at Hobbemastraat in the Schilderswijk area of The Hague (South Holland province) to denounce COVID-19-related restrictions. Protesters have reportedly thrown objects and set fires on the streets. Additional police officers are on the scene; they have cordoned off the area.
Clashes broke out during protests on 24 January against a nationwide COVID-19 curfew from 21.00 to 04.30 (local time) daily. The police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse protesters in Eindhoven (North Brabant province) and the capital Amsterdam, respectively. In Urk (Flevoland province), protesters set fire to a COVID-19 testing centre, while in The Hague (South Holland province), demonstrators set motorcycles alight. Disturbances were also reported in the cities ofEnschede (Overijssel province), Tilburg (North Brabant) and Venlo (Limburg province), among others. More than 240 protesters were arrested. Any further gatherings in the coming days should be avoided to minimise disruption and the risk of incidental exposure to unrest.
Staff on North Island should continue to exercise caution after a 5.2 magnitude earthquake struck at 08.12 (local time) on 25 January. The tremor originated approximately eight miles (13km) east-south-east of Rotorua city (Bay of Plenty region, North Island). Several low-intensity aftershocks, each with magnitudes of 4.0 or less, have occurred since the initial earthquake. The authorities have confirmed receiving no reports of resulting damage or casualties; however, buildings near the epicentre are still being examined for possible structural damage.
Anticipate localised disruption in the capital Wellington on 26 January during an environmental protest. Activists plan to gather from 12.00 (local time) outside the parliament buildings. They will call for the government to take action against climate change. Road disruption and an increased security force presence can be expected in the vicinity of the protest.
The authorities have prolonged the closure of the country’s land borders until at least 18.00 (local time) on 1 February. This measure is subject to further extension, depending on the epidemiological situation. International flights remain operational with COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing requirements. Essential travel to Oman may be possible subject to an itinerary- and profile-specific review.Refer to the COVID-19 information within the Pandemic Information Site for full details of current travel restrictions.
Employees on Luzon island should continue to plan journeys accounting for weather-related disruptionin the coming days. According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), a recent low-pressure weather system has dissipated and a simultaneous frontal weather system has weakened. Nonetheless, thunderstorms can still be expected in Cagayan and Isabela provinces (both Cagayan Valley, Luzon) in the coming days. Meanwhile, general flood advisories remain in place for Cagayan province and the Cordillera Administrative Region (Luzon). Disruption to transport and essential services remain possible in hard-hit areas.
The authorities on 23 January announced the interception of a projectile launched by the Yemen-based Houthi rebel group towards the capital Riyadh. There are currently no reports of material damages or casualties. In-country staff should exercise caution and monitor developments in the coming hours.
Travellers due to fly via the capital Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport (RUH) in the coming hours should reconfirm their itineraries with the relevant airline. Several delays to arriving and departing flights have been reported, for unspecified reasons.
Employees travelling to or in the vicinity of Kruger National Park (Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces) over the coming days should anticipate disruption and reconfirm the status of routes. This follows heavy rain and floodinglinked to the passage of former tropical storm Eloise (see our related regional reporting). The park authorities have closed a number of gravel roads and certain access routes to the facility, with some bridges also reported to be inaccessible. Closely monitor weather forecasts to ascertain the extent of the park’s accessibility.
Staff in urban centres in the coming days should anticipate and avoid further anti-government protests. Recent gatherings in the capital Khartoum and Omdurman (Khartoum state) have occurred against the latest fuel price hike. Demonstrations have also been held in Blue Nile, River Nile and South Kordofan states over bread and medicine price increases, and shortages of certain goods. Demonstrations are liable to be forcibly dispersed, posing incidental risks to bystanders.
Exercise caution in the coming hours after a magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck around 22 miles (36km) south of Khorog (Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region), close to the border with Afghanistan, at around 00.01 (local time) on 25 January. There have been no immediate reports of casualties or damage. According to the US Geological Survey, the tremor originated at a depth of 67.6 miles (108.8km). Those in affected areas should exercise caution and follow all directives issued by the local authorities.
Staff in the capital Bangkok should avoid a planned demonstration at10.00(local time) on26 Januaryoutside Government House. Participants are denouncing the government’s social security policies. A heightened police presence and localised traffic disruption can be expected. The police may also forcibly disperse any unruly protesters, posing incidental risks to bystanders.
Staff in Tunisiain the coming daysshould continue to anticipate nationwide protests over socio-economic grievances. Civil society groups have called for a demonstration on 26 January in the Ettadhamen area of the capital Tunis. Related gatherings have occurred since 15 January in Tunis and Bizerte (Bizerte governorate), Gafsa (Gafsa governorate), Jilma (Sidi Bouzid governorate), Kairouan (Kairouan governorate), Kasserine (Kasserine governorate), Siliana (Siliana governorate) and Sousse (Sousse governorate). Looting, vandalism and roadblocks have been reported, and the police have used used tear gas to disperse participants. The military has been deployed to several cities to guard key installations.
A march is planned from 10.00 (local time) towards the residence of opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (commonly known as Bobi Wine) in the capital Kampala’s Magere area. Participants are calling for an end to his house arrest, ahead of a ruling on the same day by the High Court on the politician’s detention. The march is intended to be peaceful, though it should be avoided due to the risk of localised disruption and clashes between protesters and the security forces.
Employees in the UK over the coming days should continue to anticipate weather-related disruption. The Met Office has issued yellow warnings (lowest on a three-tier scale) for snow and ice across much of England (including the capital London), Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales until at least 25 January. Disruption to public transport, electricity and road travel is possible in affected areas. This follows the 20-21 January passage of Storm Christoph, which brought heavy rain and snow to much of England, resulting in hazardous road conditions and significant flooding in multiple locations.
Plan journeys bypassing anti-war demonstrations in New York City (New York state) and San Francisco (California state) on 25 January to minimise travel delays. In New York City, participants will gather at 11.00 (local time) at US Representative Gregory Meeks’s office in Queens. In San Francisco, participating motorists will meet at 12.00 at 444 Spear Street before proceeding in a convoy along an unspecified route. The demonstrations are being held to denounce the US’s involvement in the ongoing Yemeni civil war. While the events are expected to pass off peacefully, they are liable to result in localised traffic disruption.