Our Global Risk partners, Drum Cussac, provide in-depth analysis of global risks via in-house experts, cutting edge technology and through a comprehensive global source network. Here is your summary of the incidents you need to know about from the last 30 days.
Central African Republic
Authorities Declare National Catastrophe as Floods Continue
According to local media sources, three people were killed and another is missing after inter-communal clashes broke out in Bria, Haute-Kotto prefecture, on Thursday, 9 January. One of the victims was reportedly killed by rebel fighters from the Popular Front for the Rebirth of the Central African Republic (FPRC) near downtown Bria. A few hours later two others were murdered by militiamen from the Anti-Balaka alliance in the PK3 area of Bria. The latter attack was reputedly a reprisal for the former. Following the deaths on Thursday, FPRC rebels stationed themselves on the Gbadou Bridge on Friday, 10 January, and abducted a security guard who was passing through the area. Tensions between the groups remain high and further clashes in the region are possible in the near term.
Fatalities Reported after Suspected Boko Haram Militants Attack in Alom, Lac Region
According to international media sources, suspected Boko Haram militants launched an attack on the village of Alom in Lac region, close to Nigeria’s border on Saturday, 11 January, killing four people and kidnapping four women. Reportedly, the attack occurred at around 0100hrs (0000 UTC) on Saturday, and when the assailants were repelled by security forces they kidnapped the women. It is not clear whether there were any fatalities on the side of the security forces.
Multiple Fatalities following Attack in Solle, Loroum Province
According to local media outlets, at least nine people were killed on Saturday, 11 January, after unidentified gunmen attacked the village of Solle, Loroum province. Reports indicate that a large group of armed men attacked the village, mainly targeting traders and burning several vehicles as well. The motive of the attack and the identity of the assailant are not yet clear.
Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake Strikes South East of Guanica, Puerto Rico
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported that a magnitude 6.0 earthquake has struck 14km (8.7 miles) south east of Guanica, Puerto Rico, at 1254hrs (UTC) on Saturday, 11 January. The earthquake struck at a depth of 5km (3.1 miles). No tsunami warnings have been issued as a result of the earthquake and no injuries or property damage have been reported at this time. A 6.4 magnitude earthquake on 7 January led to a State of Emergency being declared across the country and much of the power grid nationwide being shut down. Power has been gradually restored in recent days, however, it is unclear how the latest earthquake has affected power supplies.
Multiple Fatalities Reported due to Severe Weather in Southern States; Winter Storm to Impact Eastern Areas
According to international media reports on Saturday, 11 January, at least eight people have died as a result of storms carrying high winds and heavy rain impacting a number of southern states. A number of tornados also developed amidst the storms. The deaths have been spread across Alabama, Louisiana and Texas. Hundreds of thousands of people have also been affected by power cuts due to the storm and many homes have been destroyed and roads and other infrastructure damaged. In Louisiana, an elderly couple were killed when a tornado destroyed their home in Bossier Parish and a man died in Caddo Parish after a tree fell on his home. Three people were killed in Pickens County, Alabama, when a tornado struck the area. In Texas, one person died when a tree fell on their home in Nacogdoches County and another when their car flipped into a creek west of downtown Dallas. The storms across the south are expected to be followed by a winter storm across much of the eastern US. The National Weather Service (NWS) has warned that from Saturday, thunderstorms, heavy rain and flash flooding will impact much of the Central Gulf Coast and Lower Mississippi River Valley into the lower Great Lakes. Heavy snow and significant ice accumulations are forecast over Michigan, northern Maine, parts of the Great Lakes and northern New England on Saturday and early Sunday, 12 January. Hundreds of flights were reportedly cancelled at Chicago’s two main airports on Saturday due to ice and snow. The Pacific Northwest will witness a separate storm system from Sunday, which will track into the northern Rockies from Monday, 13 January, bringing heavy snow over higher elevations of the Northwest.
Hundreds of Families Affected by Floods and Landslides in Huanuco, Pasco, Cusco and Puno Departments
According to an update by humanitarian sources on Friday, 10 January, landslides and floods have been affecting Huanuco, Pasco, Cusco and Puno departments in central Peru since mid-December due to heavy rainfall. Authorities have reported that over 300 families have been affected by the floods in Huanuco department since the start of the year and that 25 homes were damaged by a landslide in San Pablo de Pillao district on Wednesday, 8 January. The mayor of Ayapata district in Carabaya province of Puno department reported on Friday that 27 families had become isolated due to the overflow of the Inambari River. A number of other rivers in the affected regions have burst their banks and further rain was forecast in the region on Friday and Saturday, 11 January.
Middle East and North Africa
Fatality Reported amid Flooding in Sistan-Baluchistan Province, Disruptions in Hormozgan and Kerman Provinces
According to local media reports on Monday, 13 January, at least one person has been killed and one other is missing amid flooding across the province of Sistan-Baluchistan. At least 13 cities within the province are currently affected by the floods, which were caused by sustained torrential rains. Authorities are currently conducting rescue operations in 40 towns and villages across the province with over 1,000 people being rescued at this time. It is currently believed that some 23 roads across the province have also been rendered impassable by flood waters. Similar disruptions have been reported following in flooding in parts of Hormozgan and Kerman provinces with over 300 villages being rendered inaccessible in the latter province.
Dozens of Casualties Reported in Airstrikes in Idlib Governorate
According to regional media sources, at least 17 people were killed and more than 40 wounded on Saturday, 11 January, as regime airstrikes hit a number of cities in the country’s northwestern region of Idlib. Reportedly, seven people were killed in the city of Idlib, four in Al-Nayrab and six in Binnish. These attacks come a day prior to a proposed ceasefire sought by Turkey, which Turkey’s defence ministry said on Friday, 10 January, would see a halt to attacks by air and land at one minute past midnight on Sunday, 12 January. Ceasefires have been implemented before, and then broken soon after implementation. Therefore, further strikes are possible in the near term.
Rockets Fired at Balad Air Base, Saladin Governorate
According to international media reports on Sunday, 12 January, as many as eight rockets have been fired at Balad Air Base located near Balad, Saladin governorate. Early reports suggest that at least four members of the Iraqi military were injured in the attack, which occurred at 1914hrs (1614 UTC). No group has claimed responsibility for the attack at this time, however, it comes after a number of bases which host US forces within the country have become the targets of mortar and rocket attacks amid increased tensions between Iran and the US. Balad airbase has been targeted by such attacks on a number of occasions in recent months.
Police Kill Man following Knife Attack in Gelsenkirchen
Local media outlets report on Monday, 6 January, that the German police shot dead a man who attempted to carry out a knife attack on police officers on Sunday, 5 January. Reports suggest that the man struck a police car with an object before attempting to assault the police officers. The man reportedly refused to cooperate with the officers and was warned to stop his attack before he was killed. On Friday, 3 January, Germany revised its terror threat level citing possible attacks after the US killed an Iranian general in a drone strike in Iraq.
Police Shoot Knife Attacker in Metz
According to local media sources, police shot a man armed with a knife in the Borny district of Metz on Sunday, 5 January. The individual reportedly threatened passers-by on Boulevard de Guyenne with a kitchen knife and yelled ‘Allah Akbar’ as he threatened police who were deployed to the scene. They opened fire to neutralise the man, shooting him in the legs. He was taken to hospital and his condition is not known. The individual was reportedly known to be mentally unstable and an investigation into the incident has been launched.
Multiple Tourists Killed after being Hit by Vehicle in Luttach, South Tyrol
According to local media sources, at least six people were killed and 11 others injured after a vehicle hit a group of German tourists in the village of Luttach (Lutago) in South Tyrol province. The tourists were reportedly waiting for a bus at around 0115hrs (0015 UTC) when a car came speeding into them. One of those injured was in a serious condition and was rushed to a hospital in Innsbruck, Austria, via helicopter. The incident is suspected to be the result of a drunk driver, as opposed to any kind of deliberate attack; however, investigations into the incident are ongoing.
Asia and the Pacific
Fatal Clashes between Security Forces and Insurgents in Sukhirin, Narathiwat Province
According to local media reports on Monday, 13 January, at least one insurgent has been killed and two local defence volunteers were wounded following clashes in Sukhirin district, Narathiwat province. Sources suggest that a security post ran by the volunteers was attacked on Sunday, 12 January in the vicinity of Tambon Romsai. Reports indicate that the attackers fled the scene after additional security forces arrived at the scene and began to exchange fire with the attackers.
Wuhan Health Officials Announce First Death in Pneumonia Outbreak
According to international media sources, the Wuhan health commission reported on Saturday, 11 January, the first death from a strain of a pneumonia which has broken out in the region and been linked to the same family as other respiratory illnesses including SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which killed hundreds of people in South East Asia in 2003. Forty-one people with pneumonia-like symptoms have so far been diagnosed with the new virus in Wuhan and the commission reported that one of those, a 61-year-old man with underlying health issues, died on Thursday, 9 January.
Two of those diagnosed have been discharged, seven are reportedly in a serious condition and the rest are reported to be stable. Cases have also been reported in Singapore and Hong Kong amongst people who have travelled there having previously been in Wuhan. However, no new cases of the virus have been reported in China as the outbreak, which has been linked to a fish market in Wuhan that is now closed, appears to have been contained. Scientists are investigating the outbreak but have said it is too early to confirm if the virus was a SARS strain.
Batangas Province Authorities Declare State of Calamity as Volcanic Activity at Taal Volcano Continues
According to local media reports on Monday, 13 January, authorities have declared a state of calamity across Batangas province amid volcanic activity at Taal volcano. The announcement comes as the volcano continues to release ash plumes which have produced heavy ashfalls. The declaration allows provincial authorities access to funds which will assist in ongoing relief efforts. At present, over 16,000 people have been evacuated to 56 evacuation centres which have been set up across the province after it was recommended that evacuations be carried out within a 14km (8.6 miles) radius of the volcano’s centre. Power outages have also been reported in Agoncillo, Laurel, Malvar, Tanauan City and Talisay.
Global Risk RoundUp – January 2020
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