Travel risk round-up: 15 August

Your risk round-up for the past week.
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Low
New Zealand: Primary School Teachers Strike Nationwide

Local media sources have reported that an estimated 29,000 primary school teachers across the country have gone on strike on Wednesday, 15 August, for the first time in 24 years. The teachers are demanding a pay rise of 16% over two years. The industrial action has affected an estimated 400,000 children. Protestors marched on Parliament in Wellington to raise awareness on the issue, and were addressed by the prime minister on arrival. These protests follow strikes from bus drivers, cinema workers and fast-food workers in the country within the last three months

Advice to businesses and travellers

Members in New Zealand are advised to monitor local news sources to keep updated on travel disruptions and potential extension of the strike.


Moderate
Moderate: Level Four Alert Issued for Volcanic Activity on Kuchinoerabujima Island

The Meteorological Agency on Tuesday, 15 August, raised its warning level for volcanic activity on Kuchinoerabujima Island in the south of the country to four out of a possible five, mandating preparations for evacuation. Scientists monitoring Mount Shindake on the island have detected increased volcanic earthquakes and sulphur emissions, though no eruption has yet been reported. The mountain last erupted three years ago, forcing the evacuation of the entire island.

Advice to businesses and travellers

Those in the area are advised to prepare an evacuation plan, monitoring local media sources for further updates on the volcanic activity. Travellers should heed any directives issued by local authorities, including mandatory evacuation orders.


Low
Colombia: New President Sworn In; Protests Seen Throughout Country

Large opposition protests against the swearing in of Colombian President Ivan Duque have occurred around the country on Tuesday, 14 August. Across the country, opposition groups and pro-peace organizations marched in the streets of major urban centres rejecting Duque’s presidency vowing to protect the peace agreement signed in 2016 between the government and the former guerrilla insurgency-turned Revolutionary Alternative Force for the Commons (FARC) political party. Heads-of-state and dignitaries from across Latin American arrived in Bogota for the inauguration of Duque. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, Argentine President Mauricio Macri and Bolivian President Evo Morales were each seen descending from their respective aeroplanes and were welcomed by a Colombian military honour guard.

Advice to businesses and travellers

Travellers should avoid the vicinity of protests and demonstrations in order to mitigate the risk of exposure to potential crowd disturbances, opportunistic crime, and heavy-handed police crowd control measures. Members undertaking overland travel within the cities where marches will take place are advised to review journey plans due to the potential for disruption. Monitor local media sources for related developments and to remain cognisant of local tensions.


Moderate
Philippines: Flood and Landslide Alert Issued for Northern Philippines

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has issued a Tropical Cyclone alert on Saturday, 11 August, as the Southwest Monsoon enhanced by Tropical Storm Karding will result in heavy rain likely to trigger floods and landslides in Metro Manila, Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, and the provinces of Zambales, Bataan, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Rizal.

Advice to businesses and travellers

Travellers in affected areas should stay abreast of the latest weather-related developments via local media sources, and heed any instructions issued by authorities, including evacuation orders. Members should also avoid unnecessary travel in high-risk locations for flooding and landslides, particularly in remote and rural areas.


Low
United States: State of Emergency Declared in Charlottesville 10-13 August

Multiple media sources report that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency for this coming weekend in the city of Charlottesville, ahead of the one-year anniversary of the violent Unite the Right rally. In August 2017, a 32-year-old woman was killed and several injured when a car drove into a group of counter-protestors. The governor stated that there are multiple events in and around the Charlottesville area from Friday-Monday, 10-13 August.

Advice to businesses and travellers

Members are advised to avoid events in the Charlottesville area during the aforementioned dates in case of escalation of tension and to reduce the risk of being affected by incidental violence, opportunistic crime and heavy-handed crowd-control operations that may occur. Follow local media outlets for updates on these and further events, and heed any directives issued by authorities