Table of Contents
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.
October 7, 2015
Palmerston North and Wellington
On Wednesday, October 7th, local police at both Victoria University in Wellington and Massey University in Palmerston North took action after receiving bomb threats on campus. At Victoria University, a threatening note was discovered and officials quickly responded by evacuating the building under suspicion. At approximately 1:15pm local time, it was reported that no suspicious items were found. Shortly after, staff at Massey University received a similar threat and again the building in question was evacuated and no harmful items were found. Police believe the threats to be low-risk but are continuing to take them seriously and proceed with all actions and investigations necessary for the safety of the staff and students.
The ISA resident staff at both Victoria University and Massey University communicated with students and advised them to regularly check email for instructions from the university and ISA, and to not hesitate to reach out to the on-site staff with any questions or concerns. ISA resident staff will continue to monitor the situation, communicate with both universities and notify students of any updates.
October 6, 2015
On Tuesday, October 6th, local police notified the University of Otago of an anonymous online threat of a mass shooting to occur on the Dunedin campus on Wednesday, October 7th local time. While the threat has not been substantiated, the Dunedin Police and the university are taking it seriously and actively investigating it. During the investigation, the campus remains open for business as usual with the addition of an increased security presence.
The University of Otago emailed students and staff about the threat and has recommended that they remain alert and vigilant while on campus. The ISA Dunedin resident staff has also communicated with students and advised them to regularly check email for instructions from the university and ISA, and to not hesitate to reach out to the on-site staff with any questions or concerns. ISA resident staff remain in communication with the University of Otago and will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.
September 30, 2015
The Peruvian government declared a 30-day state of emergency on September 29th following clashes between protesters and police officers at the Las Bambas copper mining project. The protests are against the construction of a new mining processing plant, as locals fear the plant will lead to increased pollution in the area. The mining project is located in the city of Las Bambas in the Apurimac region. Six provinces in the Apurimac and Cusco regions fall under this state of emergency due to their proximity to the mining project. ISA students are located in Cusco City, which is not currently under the state of emergency as it is located about 75 km northeast of Las Bambas. No disruptions or disturbances have occurred in Cusco City and all ISA students remain safe and unaffected. The ISA Cusco resident staff will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.
Friday, September 18, 2015
As of today, Friday, September 18th, university officials have put restrictions on various academic activities on all UKZN campuses for the remainder of the week due to ongoing protests and safety concerns. UKZN has a scheduled semester break from September 18thto 28th. While student residences will remain open during the break, they will be subject to restrictions including no visitors or gatherings. Additionally, increased security on campus and in student residences will continue to be enforced for the time being. ISA South Africa resident staff are in communication with UKZN officials, and are advising our students studying at UKZN's Howard College accordingly. All ISA students are largely unaffected by these restrictions due to pre-arranged travel plans for the break. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and the Durban resident staff will continue to advise and assist students as necessary.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
On Monday, September 14th 2015, student protests broke out at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's ("UKZN") Westville campus. Protestors caused damage to local property, and the protests resulted in the suspension of all academic programs and activities. UKZN's Howard College campus, where ISA students study, is located approximately 10 km from the Westville campus. On Tuesday, September 15th, marches and demonstrations took place on Howard College campus. Today, September 16th, UKZN suspended all academic activities across all of its campuses, including Howard College. University officials expect classes to resume normally tomorrow. All ISA students are currently accounted for and safe. ISA on-site and domestic staff are continuing to closely monitor the situation and will continue to advise students accordingly.
Valparaiso/Vina Del Mar/Santiago, Chile
Valparaiso/Vina Del Mar/Santiago, Chile
Update: September 21st at 2:30pm
Classes resumed today, September 21st, at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso and Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, following last week's earthquake and Fiestas Patrias (Independence Days). Aftershocks and earthquakes of smaller varying magnitudes have been reported throughout the country, including today in Santiago and Valparaiso. The ISA staff is continuing to monitor the seismic activity in Chile and will make safety recommendations to students accordingly.
Update: September 17th at 7:03am
All ISA students are safe and accounted for. Since the earthquake last night, there have been around 70 aftershocks. The ISA Chile staff has informed the students that it's very common to experience aftershocks after an earthquake of such magnitude.
In addition, our ISA Chile staff has asked all students to please attempt to touch base with their parents and/or guardians and loved ones as soon as possible. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and update the World Wide Alerts on the ISA website as additional information becomes available.
September 16th 2015 at 7:28 pm
On Wednesday, September 16th just before 8pm local time an earthquake estimated between 7.9 - 8.3 in magnitude struck just offshore in Chile, approximately 150 miles north of Valparaiso and 140 miles north-northwest of the capital of Santiago. Several strong aftershocks followed and authorities issued a tsunami warning. ISA resident staff is currently accounting for and advising all students abroad in both Santiago and Valparaiso to confirm their safety. Thursday and Friday, September 17-18th, are holidays in Chile (Independence Day), and many students are traveling. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and update this report as additional information becomes available.
Precautionary Tsunami Alerts for Peru, New Zealand and Fiji
Peru, New Zealand and Fiji
On Wednesday, September 16th, just before 8pm local time an earthquake estimated between 7.9 - 8.3 in magnitude struck just offshore in Chile, approximately 150 miles north of Valparaiso and 140 miles north-northwest of the capital of Santiago. Several strong aftershocks followed and authorities issued a tsunami warning which has now extended to Peru, New Zealand and Fiji. Our Resident Directors in these locations are aware and ISA will will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.
For over twenty-five years, International Studies Abroad (ISA) has provided college students in the United States and Canada the opportunity to explore the world.
ISA offers a wide variety of study abroad programs at accredited schools and universities in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, England, Fiji, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, New Zealand, Peru, Scotland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, and Thailand