Another multi-day severe weather will effect US this week. The storm will begin in the Plains and parts of the Midwest today. Severe thunderstorms will then spread to the Ohio Valley and deep South tomorrow. By April 19, the storms should reach the East. Damaging winds, hail, tornadoes and flooding rain are all threats.
Due to runway construction, there is a traffic management program in effect for traffic arriving George Bush Intercontinental/Houston Airport (IAH).
Travelers in Asuncion should plan journeys accounting for disruption caused by recent flooding. Unseasonable heavy rainfall has caused the Paraguay River to overflow, flooding communities along its banks. In the Sajonia area, more than 200 homes and 1,000 residents have been affected. Flooding is expected to subside in the coming days.
Trinidad and Tobago
On April 14, suspected Venezuelan pirates attempted to board a yacht in waters between Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada. The gunmen fired shots at the vessel as it sped away; no one was injured. The incident highlights the nascent risk of piracy in Trinidadian waters, though attacks on yachts remain uncommon.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
Travelers in urban centers, including Algiers, should continue to avoid further anti-government protests due to the potential for unrest. Yesterday, nationwide demonstrations by students passed off largely peacefully. On the same day, the President of the Constitutional Council, Tayeb Belaiz, stepped down amid calls by protesters for his resignation. The development is likely to provide further momentum to ongoing protests.
In the coming hours, travelers transiting to and from Bukavu via the N3 Highway should expect disruption and allow additional journey time during an ongoing demonstration by local residents. Protesters have reportedly blocked highway traffic near the town of Mbobero to denounce the alleged lack of fair compensation for the expropriation of their land. The highway connects the city of Bukavu with nearby Kavumu Airport (BKY).
On April 25, travelers in Kinshasa should plan routes bypassing a sit-in protest organized by the Fight for Change (LUCHA) civil society group in protest at the cost and quality of telecommunications. At 10:00 AM local time, demonstrators are due to gather outside the offices of the Vodacom telecommunications provider, near the headquarters of the state-owned water company REGIDESO, on Boulevard du 30 Juin. While the protest is likely to pass off peacefully, local disruption may occur.
Yesterday, authorities announced that changes to the scholarship system would not apply this year. The announcement came amid demonstrations by students against the changes in urban centers, including Libreville. Authorities also said that classes would resume tomorrow, after suspending them nationwide on April 11 following student protests. Students have yet to respond to the scholarship announcement. They may stage further demonstrations if the government decision is deemed inadequate. Travelers should avoid all such gatherings as precaution.
Travelers in Beirut should avoid an ongoing demonstration at Riad al-Solh Square by striking public school teachers, university professors, and state employees over possible wage cuts. The protests were initially launched on April 16 following statements by government officials urging workers to accept the reduced pay. Further related demonstrations are likely in the coming days. Although these events should pass off peacefully, they should be avoided as a precaution and to minimize travel disruption.
Travelers in northwestern Libya, particularly Tripoli, should depart the country due to ongoing heightened tensions and fighting between forces loyal to the rival Government of National Accord (GNA) and Libyan National Army (LNA). Mitiga International Airport (MJI), which serves Tripoli, resumed operations on April 9 after a temporary closure due to airstrikes conducted by the LNA on April 7; however, the facility is currently only permitting flights between 7:00 PM and 7:00 AM local time. Travelers should continue to defer all travel to Libya; those currently in areas outside the northwest should also depart.
Travelers in Mogadishu should continue to avoid the vicinity of the Mubarak Hotel on Makkah al-Mukarramah Avenue, following a car-bomb explosion earlier today, reportedly targeting a member of the intelligence services. Early unconfirmed reports suggest a second bombing at Dabka Junction. It is unclear whether there are any casualties. The incidents highlight Mogadishu’s extreme travel risk rating, and the need for stringent security precautions when undertaking essential travel there. Travelers in Mogadishu should continue to avoid the affected areas in the coming hours.
Normal travel to South Africa in the lead-up to and during the May 8 General Elections can continue with standard precautions. South Africans will elect a new National Assembly and provincial legislatures; in turn, the National Assembly will elect the next President. Disruptive community and service delivery protests have increased in the lead-up to the vote, and such gatherings are likely to continue until election day. Political gatherings, such as election rallies, can also be expected, but are unlikely to lead to unrest or disruption. Nonetheless, all gatherings should be avoided as a precaution.
On April 5, President Beji Caid Essebsi extended the country’s long-running state of emergency by one month due to persistent risks of militancy across Tunisia. The measure also comes amid an ongoing escalation in conflict in neighboring Libya. Authorities have strengthened the military presence along the southeastern border with Libya. The developments underscore the high travel risks posed by militancy along the Libyan border. Travel within 25 miles of this frontier should be for essential purposes only and undertaken in liaison with the local authorities.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
On April 15-16, security forces raided a suspected militant hideout in the Hayatabad Phase 7 area of Peshawar. At least five suspected militants and one police officer were killed during the operation, which lasted for more than 15 hours. Bombs and other weapons were also recovered from the site. The development highlights the persistent risks posed by terrorism in Peshawar, where Islamist extremist groups are active, and the travel risks are serious.
In the coming weeks, travelers in Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, and Sweden should anticipate and avoid planned protests by the Extinction Rebellion (ER) environmentalist activist group. On April 15, related well-attended gatherings in central London caused widespread traffic disruption and resulted in several arrests. The ER is calling on governments to reduce carbon gas emissions. Similar gatherings are also likely in other countries in Europe.
Travelers planning to use the Georgian Military Road in the coming hours should make alternative arrangements. This morning, authorities closed the section between Verkhny Lars and Vladikavkaz due to deteriorating weather conditions. Other sections of the route may also have been closed, though related information is not available. The Georgian Military Road is the only overland route connecting Russia with Georgia and Armenia. Weather-related intermittent closures of the route are not uncommon.
Travelers due to transit Salzburg Airport (SZG) between April 24 and May 28 should reconfirm their flights, as the facility will be closed for scheduled runway maintenance.
Travelers in main cities should avoid further climate rallies in major cities until late May. The ‘Youth for Climate’ student group, which has been organizing demonstrations in Brussels since January, plans to continue protesting every Thursday until European Parliamentary Elections on May 23-26. Protesters are calling on the EU and the government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The latest rally in Brussels on April 11 attracted more than 1,000 participants. Previous demonstrations in the city on March 31 resulted in scuffles and the damage of property.
Travelers in Copenhagen over the coming days should expect and avoid further unruly demonstrations by and against the far-right Stram Kurs (SK) party. Today, SK is due to stage a rally in the Bagsvaerd suburb from 3:00 PM local time. On April 14, rioting occurred in several parts of the city, and counter-protests since then have also resulted in local disturbances.
Travelers should continue to avoid weekly Saturday protests by the ‘Yellow Vests’ (‘gilets jaunes’) movement, due to the risk of local unrest. For the 23rd round of demonstrations on April 20, supporters are being urged to travel from across the country to Paris. They will gather at 10:00 local time on Avenue des Champs-Elysees before marching to the Elysee Palace. Demonstrators have previously been banned from both locations, and additional security and traffic restrictions will be in place. A protest is also planned at 10:00 AM a local time at the Basilica of Saint Denis.
Travelers visiting the country should anticipate travel disruption in the coming days amid an ongoing nationwide indefinite strike by dangerous goods drivers. The industrial action has impacted fuel supplies to public transport companies, gas stations, fire services, and ports. Affected cities include Lisbon, Porto, and Faro. Fuel shortages have been reported at airports, including Lisbon Portela (LIS) and Faro (FAO), with the latter utilizing emergency fuel reserves.
Today, travelers in Bucharest should avoid a demonstration by taxi drivers until 6:00 PM a local time at Piata Victoriei. Organizers claim that around 5,000 taxis will participate in the protest against a government plan to approve ride-share services such as Uber and Bolt.
On April 19, travelers in Kyiv should avoid the vicinity of the Olimpiyskiy Stadium during a scheduled debate between Presidential Candidates Petro Poroshenko (the incumbent) and Vlodymyr Zelenskiy. An attempted debate at the stadium on April 14, which Zelenskiy did not attend, attracted significant numbers of the candidates’ supporters, amid a heightened security force presence. Both politicians have called on their supporters to hold rallies during the April 19 debate, and there is potential for local scuffles between rival demonstrators.
Travelers in urban centers should continue to avoid further protests by the Extinction Rebellion (ER) environmental activist group. In London, the next demonstration is scheduled for 11:00 AM local time today. Activists will gather at Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, and Waterloo Bridge, despite police orders to restrict their protest to Marble Arch until April 19. Protesters blocked roads during previous protests in London on April 16; 290 people were arrested. In Edinburgh, 29 people were arrested after they blocked the North Bridge.