Tomorrow and Friday, December 28, travelers in urban centers, particularly Santiago and southern cities, should avoid further protests over the killing of an indigenous Mapuche man by police. While details of the gatherings are not known, these are likely to occur outside government buildings, in major public squares, and around university campuses. There is a potential for local unrest during such demonstrations, which would pose incidental risks to bystanders.
Travelers in Caracas should plan journeys avoiding demonstrations by nurses. Nurses plan to protest at Hospital Pérez Carreño today, before gathering at Plaza La Moneda in the city center on Friday, December 28. Participants will protest in solidarity with several colleagues that were dismissed in June for demanding better wages. The events may cause local traffic disruption.
Travelers should exercise caution after the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) announced the postponement of elections in Beni, Butembo and Yumbi until March 2019 over cited security concerns. Beni and Butembo are affected by an outbreak of the Ebola virus disease, while more than 100 people have been killed in ethnic violence in Yumbi over the past week. Travelers in these cities are advised to minimize movement due to the possibility of protests over the decision. Although the limited delay is unlikely to trigger widespread unrest, any potential change in the national election calendar would increase the risk of serious instability.
Tomorrow, travelers in Amman should avoid a demonstration at 5:00 PM local time at Jordan Hospital, near the Fourth Circle. The gathering is a continuation of weekly protests that began in late November, in response to an income tax bill set to come into effect on January 1, 2019. Although last week’s gathering was smaller than previous events, potentially because of poor weather conditions, there remains potential for local unrest. Further gatherings in Amman and other urban centers are likely in the coming weeks.
Travelers in Mandera County are reminded of the need for enhanced security precautions following a grenade attack on a security checkpoint that seriously injured four police officers yesterday. Although no group has claimed responsibility, the attack at a border checkpoint in Mandera is likely to have been carried out by the Somaliabased extremist al-Shabab group. The incident underscores the persistent militant threat in Mandera and other counties along the border with Somalia.
Travelers in urban centers, including Beirut, should anticipate and avoid further protests related to economic issues and the continued delay in the government’s formation. Activists, civil society groups, and independent political parties organized demonstrations in Beirut, Tripoli, and Tyre on Sunday, December 23. Although protests in Lebanon generally pass off peacefully, clashes broke out between demonstrators and security forces in Beirut. Activists have called for another demonstration today, though details of the event are not yet available.
Travelers in Copperbelt province should exercise caution and monitor developments related to elections for the Provincial Chairmanship of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party scheduled for Saturday, December 29. While the intra-party poll is expected to pass off peacefully, recent violent protests in the province over socio-economic issues, especially rumors over the purchase of state assets by Chinese corporations, highlight the potential for unrest at times of heightened political tensions. Travelers should avoid political gatherings as a precaution.
On Monday, December 24 and Tuesday, December 25, several incidents of local unrest were reported across the country ahead of General Elections scheduled for Sunday, December 30. Most of these incidents involved attacks on party candidates and motorcades, or vandalism targeting political party offices and vehicles. Affected districts included Kishoreganj, Munshiganj, Tangail, Magura, Satkhira, and Nilphamari. Non-essential travel should be deferred on Sunday, December 30 and Monday, December 31 as a precautionary measure due to the potential for low-level unrest. Travelers in country should minimize non-essential movement over this period.
Travel to the western coast of Banten province, including Pandeglang and Serang regencies as well as the southern coast of Lampung province, should be deferred through Friday, December 28, following a tsunami which struck these areas at around 9:30 PM local time on Saturday, December 22. Several hundred have died, and many more are injured or missing. Emergency response is underway. In addition to the limited ability to treat medical conditions, there is an increased risk of disease outbreaks and potential food and water shortages. Authorities have advised residents to avoid coastal areas of the Sunda Strait through Friday, December 28 due to forecast high tides, which is likely to disrupt ongoing rescue and evacuation efforts. Indonesia’s Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) has forecast waves reaching to between four and eight feet in height in waters around Indonesia. Storm surges may arise in the event of inclement weather and can pose hazards to overland travel in coastal areas. Worst-affected areas include the coasts of Pandeglang, including Carita and Labuan beaches, and Rajabasa in South Lampung Regency. Travelers are advised to avoid coastal areas, remain alert, and follow the advice of local authorities.
Travelers should reconfirm the status of routes and flights due to ongoing severe weather conditions. Severe frost has prompted authorities to impose movement restrictions on a number of highways across the country. Affected routes include those near Astana and the A13 Highway leading to the city of Omsk, which remains closed since 5:00 PM local time yesterday. The restrictions are expected to remain in place through Friday, December 28. Travelers should maintain flexible itineraries to minimize inconvenience.
Travelers in Eastern, Western and Central Visayas regions, as well as northern areas of Caraga region and Palawan province, should plan journeys accounting for potential disruption during the passage of Tropical Depression Usman. On its current trajectory, the weather system is expected to make landfall on Friday, December 28 in Eastern Samar province. Usman is then likely to pass through northern parts of Central Visayas, Western Visayas, and Palawan before exiting the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Monday, December 31.
Today, reports indicate that a large fire that broke out at a construction site in the Cheongdam-dong area of Seoul’s Gangnam district has been extinguished. No casualties have been reported. Reports indicate that traffic disruption has eased, though residual delays are possible around the site today.
Through today, the Turkish State Meteorological Service (TSMS) has warned of heavy snowfall and strong winds in parts of Marmara, Black Sea, Aegean and Central Anatolia regions, including Ankara and Istanbul. Severe weather conditions may persist beyond today and are likely to cause travel disruption. Travelers should maintain flexible itineraries and reconfirm the status of routes and transportation, including flights, before setting out.
Today, travelers in Banja Luka, the capital of Republika Srpska, should avoid a demonstration at 6:00 PM local time outside the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The protest is being held over the unexplained death of a 21-year-old man in Banja Luka in March. Yesterday, protests were held in Sarajevo and Banja Luka after several people, including the father of the deceased boy, were arrested. Police dispersed the gathering in Banja Luka.
On Saturday, December 29, travelers in Dublin should plan journeys avoiding a demonstration in the vicinity of Leinster House to minimize inconvenience. The gathering is the second in a series of demonstrations called by Yellow Vests Ireland group in solidarity with the “Yellow Vests” movement in France. Hundreds of people peacefully attended a related march to Parliament on Saturday, December 22. Associated protests will continue every Saturday afternoon in the coming weeks.
Authorities have extended the suspension of operations at Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Airport (PKC) through 6:00 PM local time today. The suspension was earlier in place until 2:00 PM local time due to ice on the runway. All incoming flights have been diverted to Khabarovsk Novy Airport (KHV). Passengers transiting both airports should reconfirm schedules before setting out.