The central government is expected to deploy police reinforcements to Alotau following reported unrest on Thursday, January 24. Officials indicate "criminal" groups reportedly destroyed and looted businesses, stole a hotel ATM, and have killed at least one police officer. Local authorities have also ordered residents to remain in shelter until the situation normalizes. Further violent incidents between criminal groups and clashes with security forces are possible in Alotau over the coming days and weeks. A heightened security presence is expected over the near term.
Individuals in Alotau are advised to monitor the situation, obey all instructions issued by the local authorities, and anticipate heightened security measures throughout the region.