Tomorrow, travelers in Port-au-Prince and other urban centers should avoid anticorruption demonstrations planned by various opposition groups. While details are still emerging, protest flashpoints in Port-au-Prince usually include Carrefour de l’Aeroport, Champ de Mars, the Superior Court of Accounts and Administrative Litigation, Parliament and the National Palace, as well as the Delmas, Petionville and La Saline areas.
Yesterday, reports indicated that a US tourist had been shot and injured during a party at a residence in San Juan. The unidentified assailant remains at large. While petty and opportunistic crime continues to pose the main risk to travelers in Puerto Rico, the incident highlights the need for vigilance in San Juan.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
Key response activities to the Ebola outbreak continue to be challenged but have progressively resumed despite ongoing security issues. Ebola is spread by contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of infected or dead people. Healthcare workers, household members, and people participating in traditional funeral practices are at high risk. Non-essential travel to affected areas should be deferred. Travelers are advised to prevent infection by paying strict attention to hygiene and avoiding contact with blood and body fluids. Travelers should not participate in traditional funerals or go to health facilities where Ebola patients are being treated.
On Sunday, February 10, travelers in Tehran and other urban centers should anticipate disruption due to large celebrations commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend marches in Tehran that will culminate in Azadi Square. Previous anniversaries have not seen significant security incidents and, while the date has traditionally been associated with anti-Western sentiment, foreigners are unlikely to be targeted by violence.
Travelers should continue to avoid all protests related to an ongoing indefinite nationwide nurses’ strike despite today’s court order to suspend the industrial action for 60 days to encourage conciliation talks. In Nairobi county, nurses have agreed to return to work after reaching an agreement with local authorities; however, the work stoppage is ongoing in various locations, including Elgeyo-Marakwet, Kisii, Kisumu, Kitui, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Taita-Taveta, Trans-Nzoia, Wajir, West Pokot, Marsabit and Homa Bay counties. The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) has threatened to expand the walkout to more counties. Related gatherings were held yesterday in Nyeri.
Tomorrow, travelers in Beirut should plan routes bypassing a protest by the Lebanese Communist Party. Participants will gather at 5:00 PM local time outside the UN-ESCWA building. The demonstration is being held in solidarity with ongoing anti-government protests in Sudan.
Travelers are reminded of the risks posed by Islamist militancy in northeastern states following a recent upsurge in fatal clashes involving Boko Haram and its breakaway faction, the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP). On Monday, February 4, three people were killed during militant attacks in the Madagali and Michika Local Government Areas of Adamawa state. Further attacks are be expected ahead of Presidential and Gubernatorial Elections in February and March. Travelers are advised to avoid all travel to Borno state, while travel to other northeastern states should be for business-critical purposes only.
Cases of measles have been reported in southern parts of the island. 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, elderly people or pregnant women are infected. All travelers should ensure they are fully immunized against measles.
Travelers in Durban should avoid the vicinity of the Durban University of Technology, particularly the Steve Biko campus, due to an ongoing student protest. The demonstration is in protest of yesterday’s alleged killing of a student by campus security guards.
Today, travelers in Tunis should avoid the La Kasba area due to a planned protest by teachers. Protesters are due to stage a rally in front of the Ministry of Education building at 11:00 AM local time before marching a short distance to the Place du Gouvernement. The protests are part of an ongoing exam boycott campaign by teachers; they are angry at the government’s apparent refusal to enter negotiations.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Today and tomorrow, travelers in Victoria state should plan journeys accounting for disruption caused by adverse weather conditions. Today, the Bureau of Meteorology issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for damaging winds, heavy rainfall and large hailstones for Northern Country, North Central, Central Gippsland and East Gippsland regions, as well as parts of Mallee, South West, North East, West Gippsland, South Gippsland and Wimmera districts. Areas that may be affected by flash floods include Bendigo, Shepparton, Seymour, Maryborough, Ballarat, Geelong, and Melbourne. A Road Weather Alert, warning of hazardous driving conditions in Melbourne, has been issued for this evening.
The US Geological Survey recorded a magnitude 5.4 onshore earthquake 0.6 miles southwest of Pindangan at 6:25 PM local time today. The temblor, with a depth of 77 miles, occurred 130 miles northwest of Manila and was felt across central and northern Luzon. While no damage has so far been reported, travelers in these areas should exercise caution and follow all official directives.
Today, a six-story apartment building collapsed in the Maltepe district of Istanbul. A major rescue operation underway is underway, and travelers are advised to avoid the area and follow all official directives.
Travelers in the wider Commonwealth of Independent States region, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, should anticipate intermittent disruption linked to anonymous bomb threats. All such threats thus far have been confirmed to be hoaxes; however, such incidents require authorities to conduct investigations and prompt precautionary evacuations. These threats have affected universities, government buildings, airports and other transportation hubs, theaters, and schools.
Today, travelers in Athens should avoid a protest by striking hospital workers affiliated with the POEDIN labor union. Participants will gather at 12:00 PM local time in front of the Ministry of Finance. The union is denouncing poor working conditions for healthcare workers.
Today, travelers in Moscow should anticipate disruption and heightened security following an anonymous bomb threat against the Afghanistan Embassy. Other threats have also targeted the Kiyevsky Railway Station and several shopping centers. Security forces have evacuated all the buildings and cordoned off areas in their vicinity. While previous threats have targeted transportation hubs and shopping centers, this is the first threat against a diplomatic mission, and it comes amid ongoing talks between the Taliban and Afghan opposition figures. Travelers should follow all official directives.
Today, passengers transiting Krasnodar International Airport (KRR) should reconfirm itineraries following the suspension of all flights due to heavy fog. While departing flights have been temporarily grounded until weather conditions improve, arriving aircraft have been diverted to Sochi International Airport (AER). Dense fog and poor visibility may render road travel difficult; travelers should exercise caution and allow additional time to complete journeys.
Today, travelers in Madrid should plan routes avoiding a protest by the Association of Circus Workers against a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. Protesters are expected to gather at 11:00 AM local time at Plaza de Castilla before marching along Paseo de la Castellana to Plaza de Cibeles. A related protest will also take place at Plaza Colon.
On February 21, travelers in Catalonia should anticipate disruption and avoid all gatherings related to a general strike. The strike was initially due to take place tomorrow with an accompanying rally at Placa de la Universitat in Barcelona; however, it has been postponed in an attempt to ensure a larger turnout. Organized by the Intersindical-CSC union, the strike is to denounce perceived socio-economic and political grievances, among other issues.
Today, passengers transiting EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg (EAP, MLH, BSL) should reconfirm flights after several aircraft were grounded due to an unexpected strike by French air traffic controllers. 25 incoming flights and 12 departures were canceled.