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 23, 2017
Following the incidents at the House of Parliament and Westminster Bridge on March 22nd, British authorities have reported that the assailant, who died after being shot by police, is believed to have acted alone. A peaceful candlelit vigil was held at Trafalgar Square on Thursday, March 23rd to honor the victims of Wednesday's attacks. An increase in police presence has been noted throughout the city, however, the U.K. has not increased its terror level as a result of these incidents. The ISA resident staff reported that London's subway system is operating and other businesses were open as usual today.
All ISA London program participants are accounted for and are safe. ISA students from other locations across Europe who reported that they were visiting London on Wednesday as part of their spring break travels were also asked to check in with their program directors and family back home. ISA London host universities were open and operating normally on March 23rd and several host universities have communicated the availability of counseling services to their students. ISA Resident staff continue to monitor the situation and remind students of safe practices, and will update students as necessary.
March 22, 2017
At approximately 2:40 local time, a suspect was shot and injured after attacking a police officer outside of London's House of Parliament. Prior to the stabbing incident, the assailant reportedly drove a car into pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge before crashing into the gates at Portcullis House. The House of Parliament has been placed on lock down and service at London's Westminster underground station has been suspended. Emergency responders are currently on the scene and the public has been advised to avoid the area. The ISA London resident staff have been in communication with students to make them aware of the incident. Students have been advised to avoid the area and check in with family back home. ISA is continuing to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.
March 19, 2017
Due to the continued flooding in and around Lima, the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú has also cancelled classes for the week of March 20-24. ISA Lima resident staff are continuing to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.
The ISA Study Center in Cusco remains unaffected by flooding. Students will continue classes as normal.
March 18, 2017
Due to the continued flooding in and around Lima, the Universidad del Pacífico has suspended classes for the week of March 20-24. ISA students there are now scheduled to begin classes on Monday, March 27. Though classes have been postponed at the Universidad del Pacífico, ISA students do not live nor attend classes near the flooded areas. ISA students attending the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú will attend classes as scheduled on Monday, March 20. Water restrictions continue but water is expected to begin to be restored today. ISA Lima resident staff are continuing to monitor the situation and advise students.
The ISA Study Center in Cusco remains unaffected by flooding. Students are attending courses as normal.
March 17, 2017
Heavy rains in Peru have caused overflowing of the Huaycoloro and Rimac rivers in Lima, leading to flooding throughout the surrounding areas in central Lima. The flooding is expected to cause traffic delays in the city as well as to the airport. There are reported disruptions to internet and water services in the city. The Ministry of Education suspended public schools in the Metropolitan Lima region until Monday, March 20. ISA students attending the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú have been informed that the university remains open, however attendance will not be counted if they are unable to make it to class. Some professors have cancelled classes and students have been advised to remain in direct communication with their professors to confirm specific course cancellations. ISA students attending the Universidad del Pacífico will begin their spring classes on Monday, March 20, and their Bridging Cultures Program is currently running as planned. ISA Lima resident staff are continuing to monitor the situation and advise students.
The ISA Study Center in Cusco remains unaffected by flooding. Students are attending courses as normal.
March 18, 2017
Around 8:00 a.m. local time, a man was shot and killed after seizing a soldier's gun at Paris's Orly Airport. No other civilians were injured or killed in the incident. Orly Airport was temporarily evacuated and closed while local officials conducted a security check. Though flight delays and cancellations are expected throughout the day, Orly Airport has reopened and resumed operations. A few ISA Paris students were beginning spring break travel today; none reported flying through Orly Airport. The ISA Paris resident staff were in communication with students to make them aware of the incident.
Students have been advised to avoid the area of the airport, continue to check local news for the most up to date information, and to check in with family back home. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.
Valparaiso and Viña del Mar
March 13, 2017
On March 12th, Chile's National Office of Emergency of the Interior Ministry declared a red alert, the highest on a four-tier warning system, for the cities of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, as a result of a wildfire. The wildfire has affected the forest areas of the Ruta Las Palmas, located approximately 10km east of downtown Viña del Mar, in route to the capital city of Santiago. ISA students do not live or study in the affected zone of the city, and do not access the Las Palmas highway to go to and from the host university. The Regional Mayor of Valparaíso, Gabriel Aldoney, suspended all classes in Viña del Mar for the day, which affects ISA students at the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (UAI) and those who have courses at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso's (PUCV) campus in Sausalito. Classes at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso's main campus in Valparaíso have continued as normal. ISA students have been advised on the class cancellations. Electricity in certain areas of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar was lost for a short period of time on the evening of March 12th, however, ISA resident staff has reported that it has been restored in both cities. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and advise students appropriately.
March 10, 2017
Following President Park Geun-hye's impeachment yesterday, demonstrations in Seoul are continuing to occur in the areas near Gwanghwamun Plaza and Gyeongbokgung Palace. (Approximately 4.4 miles from Korea University and 9.2 miles from Konkuk University). ISA students continuously have been advised to avoid the areas mentioned above. ISA's host universities stayed opened, and no classes were canceled on Friday, March 10th. ISA Seoul staff will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.
March 9, 2017 updated 10:00 P.M. CST
The Constitutional Court unanimously voted to uphold President Park Geun-hye's impeachment, removing her from office. As a result, Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn will continue to serve as acting president until a special election is held in 60 days.
Police officers in the capital of Seoul and throughout the country are on standby for anticipated protests. Since the National Assembly initially voted to impeach President Park Geun-hye on December 9, 2016, protests have occurred throughout the country but primarily have been peaceful. ISA students have been notified of the court's ruling and reminded to avoid any protests. Classes at Konkuk University and Korea University are running as normal. The ISA Seoul resident staff will continue to monitor the situation and advise students appropriately.
March 9, 2017
The Constitutional Court of South Korea is expected to announce the results of the impeachment trial of President Park Geun-hye at 11 AM KST on Friday, March 10th (8PM CST on Thursday, March 9th). If President Park is acquitted of all impeachment charges, her presidential authority will be immediately reinstated and she will serve out the remainder of her presidential term through February 2018. If President Park is found guilty, Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn will continue to serve as acting president until a special election is held within the next 60 days.
Large protests are expected in Seoul regardless of the outcome of the impeachment trial. Previous protests have been centered around the Gwanghwamun Plaza, City Hall, and the area near Anguk station where the Constitutional Court is located. ISA Seoul students have been advised to avoid potential protest areas and have been reminded that ISA students are prohibited from participating in demonstrations. ISA Seoul staff will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly once the court's decision is announced.
December 9, 2016
South Korea's President, Park Guen-hye's impeachment vote has passed the National Assembly on December 9, 2016, and Park's presidency has been officially suspended. While the Constitutional Court of Korea reviews the endorsed motion to justify the impeachment, the Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn will be acting President for the duration of the court's deliberation. A large protest is currently planned for December 10, 2016 at Gwangwhamun area and sporadic protests in Seoul and other cities may continue to occur while the Constitutional Court of Korea is reviewing the motion, ISA students have been advised not to participate in any protests and to limit their time near the city hall in the Gwanghwamun area and near Anguk station where the Constitutional Court of Korea is located.
February 12, 2017
On Sunday, February 12th, residents in Thessaloniki's north-western municipalities, including Kordelio-Evosmos and Ampelokipoi-Menemeni, were peacefully evacuated so authorities could deactivate and remove a World War II bomb that was discovered during excavation work earlier in the month. A state of emergency was declared for the evacuated municipalities. Pylea, where the American College of Thessaloniki is located and where ISA students live, was not evacuated. All ISA Thessaloniki students were on a planned excursion outside of Greece this weekend and have not been affected by the evacuation, which is expected to conclude later this evening. ISA will continue to monitor the situation.
December 18, 2016
On Sunday, December 18th, there were reports of a deadly shooting attack on police near the town of Karak, Jordan, which is approximately 120 kilometers south of Amman. The incident took place in and around the Karak Castle tourist attraction, and early reports indicate that some people who were taken hostage have since been released. At the time of this report, the situation is on-going and Jordanian police are still searching for the gunmen believed to have been involved in the attack.
All ISA Amman students are safe and accounted for in the capital city. The ISA Amman resident director reported that things remain calm in Amman and the students have been advised to stay in their program city until their scheduled departure tomorrow, Monday, December 19th. ISA is continuing to monitor the situation and the Amman resident director will continue to advise students appropriately.
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