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Tropcial Storm Erika

August 28, 2015

Tropical Storm Erika is currently making its way through the Caribbean on a projected path toward southern Florida. The latest projection estimates that the storm will pass the northeastern coastal area of Cuba by Sunday, August 30.

IFSA-Butler students studying at the University of Havana for the fall semester 2015 arrived on August 25, and they are currently participating in orientation activities with Resident Director Michelle Ranieri. During this time, Michelle will be extensively discussing health and safety, especially safety tips for severe weather conditions such as tropical storms and hurricanes.

We will continue to monitor the progress of the storm as it gets closer to Cuba and provide relevant updates as necessary.

Please see the following links for more information:

Security Update in Egypt

Early this morning, a car bomb exploded near a state security building and courthouse in a northern Cairo suburb, injuring 29 people. News reports indicate that the attack was carried out by Islamic State-affiliated militants.

Please note that IFSA-Butler students have not yet arrived for the fall semester and will not be visiting or traveling in this area. Additionally, after arriving in Cairo, students will be staying the night in a hotel near the airport before visiting the Pyramids the next day and heading to Alexandria.

Alexandria remains calm at this time, with a heightened security presence. During the program orientation, IFSA-Butler staff will talk extensively about safety and security in Egypt, how to remain safe while a student on the program and how to access emergency services. IFSA-Butler staff are on call and available to the students in Alexandria, and our Egypt resident director, Dr. Mohamed El-Komi, will be picking the students up at the airport and accompanying them to Alexandria for orientation and move-in.

For more information about the incident this morning, please see the following news stories:

Volcanic Eruption in Chile

Friday, April 24, 2015
Ashes from the Calbuco volcano have spread to Santiago. Although the ashes remain high in the air and very fine, our Santiago resident director is advising students to take the following precautions while outside:

  • Avoid running and other intensive outdoor excercise
  • Avoid sitting or stretching out on the ground
  • Wear long sleeve shirts and pants, not shorts
  • While outside, cover your mouth and nose with a mask or scarf; the IFSA-Butler office in Santiago has masks available for students
  • If possible, wear glasses instead of contacts

Ashes have not reached as far north as Valparaíso, but our Valparaíso resident director is available to advise students and to provide masks if necessary. Chilean officials estimate that the ashes should clear from the atmosphere by Monday.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Calbuco Volcano in Chile has erupted twice in the past 24 hours, spreading ash throughout the area and requiring the evacuation of local residents. The volcano is located in southern Chile in a sparsely populated area.

Because the volcano is about 625 miles from Santiago and about 700 miles from Valparaíso, no IFSA-Butler students were afffected by the eruption.

For more information on this situation, please visit the following news sites:

Earthquakes in Central New Zealand

Friday, April 24, 2015
Another earthquake shook Wellington at 3:37 p.m. local time on Friday. The earthquake caused only minor damage, but the IFSA-Butler office in New Zealand verified the safety of all students in the area and also sent earthquake safety reminders to students in Wellington, Palmerston North and Christchurch.

Thursday, April 23, 2015
Two moderate earthquakes struck the northern tip of New Zealand's south island, near the town of Seddon, approximately 50 miles south of Wellington. The first earthquake with a magnitude of 4.4 hit at 10:36 a.m. local time and a second, slightly stronger earthquake with a magnitude of 5.1 was recorded at 10:42 a.m. According to local media reports, buildings shook in Wellington, but no structural damage or injuries occurred as a result.

The IFSA-Butler resident staff in New Zealand reached out to students in Wellington via text and posted safety instructions on the New Zealand program Facebook page. Additionally, earthquake safety instructions were discussed with students upon arrival in New Zealand during the program orientation. IFSA-Butler New Zealand staff are available 24/7 to students in case of emergency, and students received a cell phone number to call for emergency assistance at any time.

IFSA-Butler will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as necessary. For further information, please see the following media outlets:

Channel News Asia

New Zealand Herald


Tropical Cyclone Nathan

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
IFSA-Butler is monitoring the progress of Tropical Cyclone Nathan, currently a category 1 storm, just off the northeastern coast of Queensland, Australia. The storm is expected to increase in intensity to a category 2 or 3 storm by the time it makes landfall on Friday morning, March 20. The northern tip of Queensland is under a Tropical Cyclone warning, including the city of Cairns.

Students studying on the IFSA-Butler programs at James Cook University in both Cairns and Townsville have been notified of this storm, as well as precautions to take should it make landfall. The IFSA-Butler student services coordinator for the region, who lives locally, will remain in contact with students and provide any follow-up instructions. Safety instructions were also discussed during the IFSA-Butler program orientation. James Cook University is well prepared for tropical cyclones, and they too will be providing safety instructions to students.

IFSA-Butler has provided students with a 24/7 emergency contact number that students can call for assistance at any time. For further information about Tropical Cyclone Nathan, please see the following:

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