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Earthquake Off the Coast of Chile

October 28, 2016

Late in the afternoon on October 27, a 5.9 magnitude earthquake was reported approximately 70 miles southwest off the coast of Chile in the Pacific Ocean. The epicenter of the earthquake was also 70 miles southwest from Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, where students on the Valparaíso program live and study. The earthquake was not felt in Valparaíso, Viña or Santiago. No damage was reported, and there were no tsunami warnings issues. All students on IFSA-Butler programs are reported to be safe.  

Earthquakes and tremors are a part of life for Chileans as they happen frequently. Our resident staff covered earthquake safety information to students during the program orientation at the start of the semester, and all host families are trained on how to respond in an earthquake or an emergency. Our resident staff is available 24/7 should an emergency occur in Chile.

Hurricane Matthew Update for Eastern Cuba

October 3, 2016

Hurricane Matthew, a category 4 hurricane, is moving across the Caribbean toward Jamaica, Haiti and the eastern Cuba cities of Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo. Currently, the forecast for western Cuba, including Havana, is a strong tropical storm. Cuban authorities have been advising residents on safety precuations, and our Cuba resident director has instructed IFSA-Butler students to remain in Havana until the storm passes.

All IFSA-Butler students are provided with safety instructions for what to do during a hurricane or tropical storm during their program orientation, and these instructions are also located in their student handbooks. In addition, the IFSA-Butler resident director is available in Havana 24/7 to answer student concerns or help with an emergency.

We will continue to monitor the storm's progression and stay in contact with our Cuba staff for updates. For more information on the storm, please see the following resources:

Please contact Director of Health, Safety, and Security Eryn Espín-Kudzinski with any questions or concerns.

Volcanic Activity in Costa Rica

September 20, 2016

IFSA-Butler is currently monitoring the ongoing activity of Volcán Turrialba in the Central Valley of Costa Rica. On September 19, officials reported that the volcano erupted at least twice with smoke and ash. Due to wind patterns, ash fell in Heredia where students are currently living, and the San José airport was closed until late this morning.

Volcán Turrialba is located approximately 30 miles east of Heredia. While Heredia is not close enough to the volcano to be in any immediate danger should a larger eruption occur, students should be aware that ash in the air can affect respiratory conditions or ailments. Students who need assistance can contact our resident director in Heredia at any time.

For more information, please see the following news link:  

Tico Times

Please contact Assistant Director of Student Health and Safety Renee Lopez with any questions or concerns.

Earthquake Off New Zealand's North Island

September 1, 2016

A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the east coast of New Zealand's North Island early on Friday morning local time. There were no immediate reports of serious damage, but East Cape area residents are being advised to stay away from the water due to strong currents and to move to higher ground.

The epicenter of the earthquake is not in the areas where IFSA-Butler programs are located. However, our resident staff are reaching out to students as a precautionary measure and to notify them to avoid the beaches on the east coast.

For more information on this incident, please see the following:

Please contact Assistant Director of Student Health and Safety Renee Lopez with any questions or concerns.

Mall Shooting in Germany

July 22, 2016
German authorities are reporting that several people are dead following a shooting in a Munich shopping mall. IFSA-Butler does not have programs in Germany, but we are reaching out to our United Kingdom and Ireland summer students to determine if any of them traveled to Germany on their own. We anticipate that it may take several hours to make contact with the majority of students to confirm their safety.

We will continue to monitor this situation and provide any relevant updates. Please contact Renee Lopez, Assistant Director of Health, Safety and Security with any questions or concerns.

More information on this incident can be found here:


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