Worldwide Alerts

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.

South Korea

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A passenger ferry sank off the southern coast of South Korea on 16 April 2014. An estimated 450 people, mostly high school students, were on board when the incident occurred. The ferry was traveling from Incheon to Jeju Island when it began sinking approximately 13 mi/20 km off the mainland's coast. As of the latest report, a couple of casualties have been confirmed and the rescue operation is ongoing. No ISA students were on the ferry and all students have been accounted for. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and will inform students if there are any new developments about the accident.


April 13, 2014

A wildfire broke out on Saturday, April 12th , in the hills surrounding Valparaíso. The fire destroyed many homes in the hills and several casualties have been reported. Downtown Valparaíso has not been affected, and the fire has now been 90 percent contained. The local government is focusing their efforts on helping those who were displaced by the fires. All ISA students are safe and accounted for, and the neighborhoods in which ISA students live and study, as well as the areas they frequent, remain largely unaffected. We will continue to monitor the situation, and the ISA Valparaíso staff will advise students accordingly.

Recent updates have indicated that the water and electrical supply has been suspended in different sectors of Valparaíso, in hopes of maintaining a high reserve for fire fighters. The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, as well as many other academic institutions, have cancelled all classes for tomorrow Monday, April 14th. Students have been notified and the ISA Valparaíso staff will continue to advise students accordingly with any pertinent developments.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Argentine Workers' Central Union (CTA) and the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) have called for a 24 hour strike throughout Argentina on Thursday, April 10th to demand lower taxes and measures to control rising inflation. Disruptions to public services including transportation, banking, public education, and aviation are expected to occur in Buenos Aires, though classes at ISA's host universities will not be affected. Students have been informed of the planned protests and possible areas of disruption, and reminded that participation in strikes, demonstrations or other political gatherings is against the ISA Code of Conduct.


April 3, 2014

Following the earthquake on April 1, there were subsequent strong aftershocks in the northern region of Chile shortly after midnight on April 3. Thus, authorities issued a preventative tsunami warning throughout the country. The alert was lifted for the Valparaiso area within an hour as only minor waves followed the aftershocks. Chile staff communicated the tsunami alert to participants as it happened. Classes have resumed as normal today in Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. We will continue to monitor the situation and update students as necessary.

April 1, 2014

During the evening of Tuesday, April 1, a 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of northern of Chile, triggering a tsunami. The epicenter of the earthquake was 60 miles northwest of Iquique, which is approximately 900 miles north of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, where ISA students are located. A tsunami warning was issued for the entire Pacific coast of South America, but this was lifted early Wednesday morning. The majority of ISA host families and students are located in the hills of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, so evacuation was not necessary; however, several families that live in low-lying areas moved to higher ground. ISA Chile staff have contacted all students to verify that they are safe and accounted for. Classes have been cancelled on Wednesday, April 2nd. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and will inform students of any pertinent updates.

ISA is also closely monitoring its Lima program site since the tsunami warning originally stretched to Peru.

South Korea

Monday, March 31, 2014

The recent exchange of shots between North Korea and South Korea into the sea across the disputed western maritime border have not resulted in any significant changes to the U.S. State Department's recommendations to U.S. citizens residing in and traveling to South Korea. Nonetheless, we will continue to closely monitor the situation between the North and South.

Our local staff and contacts in Seoul have assured us that the city continues to operate smoothly and normally with no evidence of alarm whatsoever among the public at large.

Follow Alerts on Twitter

For further information, please refer to ISA's Health and Safety section, particularly the information regarding the monitoring of world-wide security levels.