This section is for periodic updates of world events – natural disasters, political situations, disease outbreaks – that are currently affecting or could affect our programming locations and the participants that are or will be onsite.
Protests have continued peacefully in Barcelona. There are scheduled protests for this upcoming weekend, but they are smaller than last week. All CIS Abroad participants have been reported safe and are reminded regularly to avoid areas of demonstration.
Protests continued today in what was scheduled as the biggest day for the Barcelona protests this week. In addition to a general strike, people from all over Cataluña gathered in the city in response to the recent prison sentences of Catalan leaders that led the independence referendum in 2017. Our staff in Barcelona have continued to remind participants to avoid demonstrations and keep a low profile. Participants are aware of the availability of our staff via phone 24 hours a day. We are continuing to monitor the situation and update our participants daily.
Protests in Barcelona are scheduled to continue through Friday, the day of the general strike. Peaceful marches from 6 major Catalan cities have begun today towards Barcelona with expected arrival on Friday; these may affect traffic on highways outside the city. Transportation within Barcelona is expected to experience major delays, and some flights will be canceled. Students are being advised to avoid demonstration areas and to plan extra time if travel is necessary.
Today in Barcelona there have been protests and marches after the Spanish government issued prison sentences to the separatists from the 2017 independence movement. Our onsite team has reached out to students to offer support and guidance on avoiding all protests and we will continue to monitor the situation and send updates as needed.
As of October 12 at 3:00 PM, the government of Ecuador has set a curfew for all residents of Quito. All CIS Abroad participants are safe. CIS Abroad onsite staff have spoken both with our local homestay families and with the students to make sure they will not leave their houses until the situation changes and the curfew is lifted.
Protesters have gathered in the historical center of Quito and other cities as a result of recent government policy changes that affect the price of fuel. CIS Abroad participants in Quito are safe and have been advised to avoid areas of demonstration.
A series of explosions occurred in Bangkok in several locations this morning. At least four people were injured. There are no CIS Abroad students or interns in Bangkok currently, our participants in Chiang Mai are reported safe.
An earthquake hit Athens, Greece, just after 2 p.m. local time today, causing strong shaking in the capital city for a few seconds. The earthquake was a 5.1 magnitude, according to an alert from the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Center. All CIS Abroad students are safe and accounted for, and have been reminded of earthquake safety protocol. Our site director will continue to keep in close contact with students. At this time has been no reported serious damage or injuries immediately after the quake.
CIS Abroad was informed of a terrible event today in the usually peaceful city of Kyoto, Japan.
A fire, likely the result of an arson attack, has claimed the lives of more than 33 people at a local animation studio and many more have been injured. The attack happened at a famous Anime Studio, Kyoto Animation, Co. We have no reason to believe that any CIS Abroad students would have been inside the building of this private company, nevertheless we are reaching out to confirm the safety of every individual student in Kyoto.
Our thoughts are with those who lost their lives today and the families who survive them.
Earlier today a volcano erupted on Stromboli Island, killing a man from Sicily. Stromboli Island is located off the coast of Sicily and the southernmost part of Italy. It’s a few hundred miles from any of our program locations and we don’t have any activities in the area planned.
Our thoughts and best wishes go to the man and his family and we will continue to monitor the situation and be in touch with our students onsite.