The following alerts are based on ISA's direct observation, U.S. Department of State recommendations, Overseas Security Advisory Council, WHO reports, and expert consultation.
March 24, 2015
In light of the Germanwings Airbus A320 that crashed in Southern France this morning en route from Barcelona, Spain to Dusseldorf, Germany, ISA resident staff has confirmed that no ISA Barcelona students boarded this flight. ISA students are reminded to report any travel while abroad to their resident staff which helps immensely in locating students participating in all of ISA's program locations, including all of our Barcelona students today. ISA's Department of Health, Safety and Security and resident staff across our programs in Europe will continue to monitor this developing situation.
Outskirts of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Local authorities have announced that firefighters have contained the fire that was spreading in the forest area along the outskirts of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. Most residents that were previously evacuated have returned to their homes. The state of emergency has not yet been lifted as emergency crews continue to put out the fire; however, the risk the fire posed to the population and infrastructure in the affected is reported to have been largely reduced. ISA students remain unaffected and are expected to attend class as usual on Monday, March 16th.
Outskirts of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar
Friday, March 13, 2015
On Friday, March 13th, a fire started in the woods in the Borja area, which is the outskirts of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. Approximately 4,000 people are being evacuated from homes in that area and shelters have been prepared, with three in Valparaiso and one in Viña de Mar. Local authorities have declared a state of emergency. The road connecting Santiago to Valparaiso has been closed, and citizens have been asked not to travel to the area in order to allow firefighters to have access to the fires. ISA students do not live in the affected area, and ISA resident staff has advised that ISA students and host families are unaffected. We will continue to monitor the situation and advise students as necessary.
Friday, March 13, 2015
Several cities throughout Brazil are preparing demonstrations for Sunday, March 15th to demand less corruption and better usage of tax payer money. These protests have gained huge momentum on social media and are in support of the impeachment of the current President Dilma Rousseff. The march in Florianópolis is scheduled to begin at 4:00pm UTC time and is expected to cause traffic delays and problems getting to and from the island. While these protests are expected to remain peaceful in Florianópolis, ISA students have been advised on the areas to avoid and reminded that it is against ISA Code of Conduct to participate in strikes, demonstrations, or other political gatherings of any kind. The ISA Florianópolis resident staff will continue to monitor the situation and advise students as necessary.
Cartago, Heredia and San Jose
Thursday, March 12, 2015
On Thursday, March 12th, Volcano Turriabla erupted three times at 10:50am, 1:48pm and 2:26pm, sending volcanic ash more over half a mile into the air. The volcano is located in Cartago, about 40 miles northeast of the capital city, San Jose, and a yellow advisory alert has been issued for the surrounding area. At present,no evacuation of Cartago is expected, and the sole ISA student studying in this location has been accounted for. Wind has carried significant amounts of ash to San Jose, Heredia and Alajuela, where the Juan Santamaría International Airport is located. The airport remains indefinitely closed until the ash subsides. The ash has restricted visibility and irritated eyes in and around San Jose, as well as dusted cars and homes. Students in San Jose and Heredia have been contacted by ISA staff and advised not to travel to Cartago and the surrounding areas and information has been provided to host families on safety precautions. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide further updates.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
On Tuesday, March 10, 2015 an earthquake occurred in Eastern Colombia. The epicenter of the earthquake is believed to have occurred near the city of Bucaramanga. The earthquake, which occurred just before 4 p.m. local time, was reported to have reached between 6.1 and 6.6 on the Richter scale and was felt in several cities, including Barranquilla, Bogotá, and Cartagena. No injuries or damages have been reported so far. Some buildings on the Universidad del Norte campus were evacuated as a precautionary measure. ISA staff will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.
March 7, 2015
On Saturday, March 7th, two men were detained after a brief shootout with security forces following a grenade attack on a Bangkok military court, which caused minor damage to the parking lot but no injuries. After a preliminary investigation, Thai police believe that the men who carried out the attack are from the same network as those who detonated two small bombs outside of a luxury shopping mall on February 1st. As a result of the attack, there is an increase in security near government offices and tourist locations. Classes have not been affected, and the ISA resident staff will continue to make recommendations to students as necessary.
Sunday, February 1, 2015
On February 1st, shortly after 8 p.m., two small bombs were detonated in Bangkok on a walkway connecting an overhead train with Siam Paragon, a luxury shopping mall. Police are still investigating, and no groups have claimed responsibility for the improvised explosives. Early reports suggest that the explosives were not designed to be deadly. While no fatalities have been reported, at least one person was injured by the blasts. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has ordered heightened security in public areas in the capital. All ISA students are accounted for and safe. ISA resident staff will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
On February 3rd, the Islamic State (IS) released a video online that purportedly showed the murder of a Jordanian pilot who was captured in December 2014 by the extremist group. Jordanian citizens led anti-IS demonstrations including in the capital city of Amman in protest of the pilot's death. Additional demonstrations in Amman are anticipated in the coming days. The U.S. Embassy in Amman has advised that citizens can expect to see an increase in police and security presence in various cities in Jordan, including Amman. Students participating in ISA's Spring 2015 study abroad program will arrive in Jordan this month and are reminded that participation in any demonstrations, even those intended to be peaceful, is not permitted. The ISA Jordan resident staff will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.
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