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Global Maritime Security: October 2014

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Below are some exerpts from the Allmode Global Security Report October 2014.
Read the full report here

 

PIRACY

The JWC High Risk Area (HRA) is defined by the following boundaries:

 On the North-West, by the Red Sea, south of Latitude 15°00 N
 On the West of the Gulf of Oman by Longitude 58°00 E
 On the East, Longitude 78°00E
 On the South, Latitude 12°00 S

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The number of reported incidents has shown an increase again this month, with more reports of suspicious approaches in the Bab el Mandeb choke point and in the vicinity of the IRTC.

In most cases the Armed Security Teams on board had to fire warning shots to deter the approach.

The incident in the Gulf of Oman did not fit that of the usual pirate model for the region and it can still not be clarified as to the purpose behind the approach, which involved a large number of small craft in conditions and circumstances that could not be explained.

The Motor Yacht that was approached on the 15/10/14 prompted MARLO to reiterate the warning that it was not advisable for yachts to transit the region, considering their vulnerability to pirate attacks and the fact that the successful pirating of sailing vessels remains likely due to the reduction of revenue sources from pirated merchant vessels. To further exacerbate this issue, is the news that the seven remaining crew from the MV Asphalt Venture, which was taken in 2010, have been released from captivity, after years of negotiation. This is good news and will bring hope to the remaining 30 seafarers and fishermen still being held by pirates. Furthermore, Somali security forces have reportedly arrested one of the country’s most powerful pirate kingpins, Mohamed Garfani along with several of his heavily armed body guards, during a disarmament campaign. It is not known whether he is still being held, or whether he has been offered an amnesty.

Last year President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud offered an amnesty to junior pirates in a bid to end attacks off the Horn of Africa nation's coast, but said it was not open to their leaders. However, the secrecy surrounding his arrest does make the international community question whether a deal has been made.

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HEALTH ADVISORIES OCTOBER 2014:

Dengue Fever
Dengue fever occurs (is endemic) in most tropical and subtropical areas of the world. There is a risk of dengue in Africa, Central and South America, the Caribbean, the Eastern Mediterranean, South and Southeast Asia, and Oceania. Dengue fever is a disease spread to humans by mosquitoes and is caused by one of four types of dengue viruses. Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms and in some cases, may lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever (severe dengue), which can be fatal. In 2014, Malaysia and Singapore have reported more cases when compared to the same time period in 2013. Also this year, a dengue outbreak has been reported in Fiji and the number of cases is expected to increase.

Ebola
Nigeria: There have been no cases of Ebola virus disease reported in Nigeria for 42 days (two incubation periods) following the small number of confirmed and suspected cases and deaths reported in Lagos and Port Harcourt related to an initial case in an infected traveller from Liberia. On October 20th, the World Health Organisation declared the end of the outbreak in Nigeria.
Senegal: There have been no cases of Ebola virus disease reported in Senegal for 42 days (two incubation periods) following the single confirmed case in a traveller to Dakar from Guinea. On October 17th, the World Health Organisation declared the end of the outbreak in Senegal.


SECURITY ALERTS

General:

Hurricane and Typhoon Seasons in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico and the South Pacific.

The current South Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season begins on November 1st 2014 and will end around April 30th 2015. This could involve dangerous conditions that could be life threatening and travellers to this region are advised to pay particular attention to the weather forecast for the region you are visiting.

The Atlantic Basin, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea: forecasters suggest that this year’s season will be near-normal or below-normal hurricane season this year with a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season. NOAA predicts a likely development of El Nino during the summer or early fall and a 70 percent chance of 8 to 13 named storms, of which three to six are predicted to strengthen to a hurricane (with top winds of 74 mph or higher). Of those, one to two are expected to become major hurricanes (with top winds of 111 mph or higher, ranking Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale)). NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Centre) recommends that those in hurricane-prone regions begin preparations for the upcoming season now.

The Eastern Pacific: Hurricane season began May 15 and ends November 30. NOAA expects a near- or above-normal season, with a 50 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 10 percent chance of a below normal season. NOAA predicts a 70 percent chance of 14 to 20 named storms, of which six to eleven are expected to become hurricane strength. Of those, three to six are expected to become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale).

Western and Central Pacific: Typhoon season begins June 1 and ends November 30.

NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) predicts a 40 percent chance of a near normal season, a 40 percent chance of an above- normal season, and a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season. CPHC expects four to seven tropical cyclones to affect the central Pacific this season.

For more information, read the full report here

*Top image By Mouh2jijel (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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