Due to inclement weather, there is a traffic management program in effect for flights arriving to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). This is causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of 1 hour and 26 minutes. Travelers are advised to reconfirm flights and allow additional travel time.
Travelers in Washington, particularly Seattle, Yakima and Spokane, should anticipate disruption due to the passage of a winter storm. Parts of Oregon, including Portland, Pendelton and Bend, may also be affected. The storm is expected to bring heavy snowfall and strong winds to the region. The adverse weather conditions are liable to disrupt flights at airports in the region, including at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). Road travel is also likely to be impacted; travelers should maintain flexible itineraries.
Today and tomorrow, travelers in northeastern states, particularly New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania, should anticipate disruption related to the passage of a winter storm. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the region. Reports indicate that the storm could cause up to six inches of snowfall in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and up to 12 inches in New York. Travelers should plan journeys accounting for weather-related disruption.
Today, passengers transiting Lester B Pearson International Airport (YYZ), which serves Toronto, should anticipate disruption caused by a winter storm, and reconfirm flights accordingly. Hundreds of flights have been delayed or canceled as a result of the adverse conditions.
On Thursday, February 14, travelers in San Juan should avoid a planned protest at 5:00 PM local time outside the Federal Court. The protest is being organized against international intervention in Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government. The event is expected to attract participation from religious organizations, trade unions, human rights and political groups, causing disruption in the vicinity.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
Central African Republic
Suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported in Bambari. Monkeypox is a rare viral disease present in Central African Republic. An ongoing outbreak has affected at least 15 states over the past year. People can contract the virus from an infected animal by being bitten or coming in contact with an infected animal’s skin, blood or body fluids. Infected people can pass on the disease to others. Travelers should prevent infection by observing hygiene and avoiding contact with animals.
On Friday, February 15, travelers in Kinshasa should plan routes bypassing a major rally by President Felix Tshisekedi’s Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party to minimize inconvenience. Participants are due to gather outside the party’s headquarters on 10th Street, in the Limete area, at 9:00 AM local time. The event will commemorate the 37th anniversary of the UDPS’s founding.
Cases of measles continue to be reported in Congo (DRC). Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus that spreads from person-to-person via infected droplets. Outbreaks occur frequently in under-vaccinated populations. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and a characteristic rash. The illness can result in serious complications, particularly when very young children, the elderly or pregnant women are infected. All travelers should ensure they are fully immunized against measles.
A confirmed case of Lassa fever has been reported from the Kissidougou Prefecture in the Faranah Region. Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic illness. Transmission to humans mostly occurs through ingestion or inhalation of excretions from infected rodents, especially rats. The disease can also spread through direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person. Travelers should prevent infection by observing strict hygiene and avoiding contact with sick people.
From February 14 though March 7, travelers in urban centers, particularly Bissau, should avoid all protests related to a teachers’ strike due to the potential for unrest. On February 8, students blocked roads and set alight vehicles in Bissau during a protest against the impending walkout. Police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators; at least 19 people were injured. The teachers are demanding the payment of salary and allowance arrears, among other issues. A related strike was suspended in early January following successful negotiations; the teachers have accused authorities of not following through with their promises.
Today, travelers in Nanyuki should avoid all ongoing protests related to the death of two bodaboda (motorcycle taxi) drivers. Hundreds of protesters have burned tires and blocked main roads in the town, including a section of the A2 Motorway between Nanyuki and Nyeri. Travelers should reconfirm the status of routes before setting out.
An additional polio case due to circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) has been detected in Zinder province. The cVDPV strain can emerge in undervaccinated populations. Polio is a contagious viral illness that causes paralysis and death. The infection is spread through ingestion of contaminated food or water, or directly from an infected person. Travelers should prevent infection by ensuring polio vaccination is up to date.
Tomorrow, as well as Tuesday, February 19, travelers in urban centers should avoid protests by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) over a range of economic grievances. The country’s largest trade union federation has organized a national strike, marches and rallies in front of local municipal buildings, which though expected to be peaceful, are likely to cause local traffic disruption. Travelers should plan routes bypassing event locations.
Travelers should anticipate potential disruption due to ongoing scheduled power outages. The state-owned electricity provider Eskom, which is the country’s primary power supplier, has instituted rolling outages to address excess demand and supply shortages. Today, power blackouts are due to continue until 11:00 PM local time. Yesterday, severe traffic disruption was reported in several areas as traffic lights stopped functioning due to the outages.
Travelers should monitor developments around a strike at Makerere University in Kampala. Staff walked out in January and have threatened to step up their action if suspended staff association leaders are not reinstated by Thursday, February 14. Any related gatherings may cause travel disruption in the vicinity and should be avoided to minimize inconvenience.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
On Sunday, February 10, a bomb was discovered in the bathroom of a casino in Poipet, near the border with Thailand. Security force personnel were subsequently alerted and removed the device from the building. The casino was evacuated and cordoned off, and the bomb was detonated under controlled conditions. Travelers should remain vigilant and report any suspicious persons or items to authorities.
Today, authorities extended a State of Emergency in Nelson and Wakefield on South Island for one more week due to ongoing wildfires. According to emergency officials, residents of affected areas will be allowed to return following risk and safety assessments. State Highway 6 via Wakefield has reopened, though several streets in the area, as well as in Nelson, remain closed. Flights are operating normally at Nelson Airport (NSN), and a restricted flight zone around the wildfires is no longer in place. Travelers should continue to exercise caution and follow all official directives.
Papua New Guinea
Today, Air Niugini suspended its flights to and from Kieta Airport (KIE) on Bougainville Island until further notice. The theft of solar panels that power the precision approach path indicator lights, which assist with safe landing, prompted the decision.
Travelers in Ukraine should exercise caution ahead of the March 31 Presidential Election. There is a potential for unrest during campaign rallies between supporters and security forces, as well as between rival party activists. Travelers should avoid all related gatherings and exercise caution around likely targets for violence and vandalism, including Russian-owned businesses, diplomatic missions, and Orthodox churches.