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.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
South Africa is currently facing a nationwide power shortage due to heavy rains over several days, resulting in rolling blackouts throughout the country. On Thursday, March 6th, the country's power provider, Eskom, which provides approximately 95 percent of the nation's power, declared an energy emergency and requested that major industries cut their power usage by at least 10 percent. The emergency is expected to be lifted within 24 hours. However, forecasts for additional rain could result in continued power shortage.
Classes have not been affected for ISA students. The ISA South Africa staff is in close communication with all of its students and will continue to update them during this period with any new developments.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
In the early morning on Thursday, March 6th, an earthquake occurred in Chile. The earthquake, which registered a 5.3 on the Richter Scale, had its epicenter 24 miles southeast of Valparaiso and was felt in both Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. There are currently no reported damages to buildings in the city, however, some phone lines were temporarily down. All ISA students are safe and accounted for.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
On March 3, 2014, approximately 2,000 people in Bilbao protested against the Global Forum Spain 2014, an international finance seminar. While the demonstrations began peacefully, several dozen masked individuals joined the group and began rioting, vandalizing cars and shops and setting fire to trash cans. Several buildings were also damaged during the riots. A few officers were injured as rioters clashed with police, and several rioters were arrested. All ISA students are advised to stay away from protest sites. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and will alert students of any upcoming protests.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Political demonstrations and a strike are scheduled to take place in Cusco on Tuesday, February 25th - Wednesday, February 26th. Public transportation will not be available for those two days, as the strike pertains to public employees protesting for a wage increase. The demonstrations are scheduled to occur along Avenida Sol to the Plaza de Armas and Plaza Regocijo, which are a safe distance from where ISA students attend classes. ISA students were informed of these recent developments and have been advised on alternate modes of transportation. The ISA cultural activity that was scheduled for Wednesday, February 26th was rescheduled for Thursday, February 27th to avoid the demonstration area. Students are reminded of ISA's safety protocol and that it is against ISA policy to participate in strikes or demonstrations. We will continue to monitor these events, and make recommendations to our students as needed.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Following the alert posted on the 18th of February, on the 20th of February approximately 600 students embarked on a protest on the Howard College campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The protesters broke into smaller groups and proceeded into the university buildings. A strong police and security presence was visible, and the police used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse protesting students. The organizers were removed from campus.
The University of KwaZulu-Natal has taken measures to ensure that the safety of our staff and students is not compromised.There is still high presence of police on campus and they, as well as ISA, are continuously monitoring the situation. As of the 21st of February, the protestors have moved to Westville Campus and there have been no additional protests reported on Howard College campus.
ISA students were not involved and they were also able to complete their registration without any problems. All ISA students are still reminded not to take part in any demonstrations.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Following the alert from the 18th of February at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, it was later reported that the same small group of students used pepper spray in some lecture building venues preventing other students from utilizing those venues. ISA students were not affected by this protest. As of today, the campus is fully functional and no disruptions have been reported.
University of KwaZulu-Natal and ISA continue to be on high alert and we are in constant communication with all ISA students at the Howard College Campus.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Following the student protests on February 11th at the various University of KwaZulu-Natal campuses, it has been reported that a small group of students has continued to conduct demonstrations over the availability of financial aid. With police present on the relevant campuses, there have been no reports of violence or class disruptions. Campus management is closely monitoring the situation and hopes to come to a full resolution by the end of the week, before the final registration deadline.
ISA students remain unaffected by the demonstrations, and their classes are proceeding without disruptions. We will continue to monitor the situation and advise all ISA students to stay away from any demonstrations.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
On the 10th of February students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal at the Westville and Edgewood campuses, 6 and 12 miles respectively from the Howard College campus where ISA students in Durban attend classes, staged a demonstration to protest the availability of financial aid. On the 11th of February, a handful of students were reported to have started a demonstration at the Howard College campus, which was quickly dispersed. Two individuals were removed from campus and officials are searching for the ring leaders as students are prohibited from striking or disrupting classes at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
ISA students were not affected by the demonstrations, and their classes proceeded without disruption. All ISA students have been accounted for and advised to stay away from any demonstrations whatsoever. We will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
On February 12th 2014, thousands of supporters of the opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) congregated at the Westgate transport hub in Johanessburg, South Africa, for a march in support of their party. The DA marchers were confronted during their march by supporters of the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC). The ANC supporters clashed with police, and the police used rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. There are reports that supporters of the ANC threw Molotov cocktails at the police, though there are no reported injuries.
There have been no protests in any ISA program locations in South Africa and Johannesburg is located at least 7 hours driving distance from the nearest ISA program. We will continue to monitor the situation, and make recommendations to students as necessary. ISA students are aware that they are to avoid all protests and demonstrations.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Update: On the evening of Friday, December 13th, a small bomb detonated in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast. The dissident group Óglaigh na hÉireann has claimed responsibility for the blast and local authorities are currently searching for suspects. There were no injuries, and all ISA students are safe and accounted for. The local police have asked the public to remain vigilante, and ISA students have been reminded to use extra caution during this time.
Monday, December 9, 2013
Security measures have been heightened in Northern Ireland as the Irish Republic Army (IRA) has displayed a recent increase in activity. There have been several instances of attempted bombings as well as political protests. The related violence that occurs in Belfast is generally located in very specific areas of the city, far from where ISA students live and attend classes. ISA students have been advised that they should use extra caution and be especially vigilant during this time. We will continue to monitor these events and make recommendations to our students as needed.
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