Travel risk round-up: Friday 11 May

Here’s your handful of risk alerts that have taken place around the globe in the last two weeks, keeping you up-to-date with major events potentially affecting your business and travellers.


Six people killed as sudden storm strands hikers in Swiss Alps, Switzerland

According to international news reports on Monday, 30 April, six people have been killed and five others are in a critical stare after an unexpected snowstorm in the Swiss Alps trapped people in the Pigne d’Arolla area, forcing them to spend the night in the open. Authorities said that the group had set out from a rest stop in Dix and were making their way to a hikers hut in Vignettes when they were caught in the sudden storm. An emergency call was made but the severe weather hampered rescue efforts.

Advice to businesses and travellers

Travellers visiting the Swiss Alps should ensure that a detailed route card should be supplied to a colleague or a place of residence so that in the event of an emergency, rescue teams can optimise their search plans. Those within affected areas are advised to closely monitor weather-related developments and remain alert to any further directives issued by authorities


State of Emergency announced in Tripoli following suicide bombing on Wednesday, 2 May, Libya

According to local media reports on Thursday, 3 May, a state of emergency has been declared in Tripoli following a suicide attack on the High National Election Commission (HNEC) on Wednesday, 3 May. The attack, which was later claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group, killed 14 people and left 20 wounded. According to a representative of the National Salvation government which currently resides in Tripoli, the Defence Ministry and loyal militias have been tasked with increasing security patrols and checkpoints in the city.

Advice to businesses and travellers

Due to the unstable security situation and the threat posed by ongoing militia operations and militant activity, those in Tripoli are advised to coordinate all movements with local authorities and security forces. As Libya remains an extreme risk environment, clients should reconsider all non-essential movement outside of secure compounds given the current instability and conflict situation, remain vigilant at all times and monitor local media for situational updates.


Heavy fog causes flight cancellations at Auckland Airport, New Zealand

According to national media reports on Wednesday, 9 May, thick fog over Auckland has caused delays and cancellations of multiple flights at the Auckland International Airport (AKL). It is not known how many flights have been affected by the weather conditions. Further disruptions are likely. Meanwhile, Britomart train station has only limited services this morning, after the station was closed by a train derailment.

Advice to businesses and travellers

Clients travelling via AKL should contact their flight provider ahead of departure in order to clarify the status of their journeys. Clients are further advised to closely monitor weather-related developments through local sources and review travel plans accordingly.


Evacuation orders issued in Kootenay boundary communities following flood threats, Canada

According to national media sources on Thursday, 10 May, evacuation orders are in place in a number of communities in British Columbia. The orders were issued earlier today following a state of emergency declaration on Wednesday afternoon. Nearly 3,000 people in British Columbia’s interior have been ordered to leave their homes after downpours and snowmelt raised rivers to dangerous levels. Most of the evacuation orders have been issued for communities in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

Advice to businesses and travellers

Clients in the region are advised to monitor local media for the latest flood-related developments and adhere to any directives issued by local authorities, including evacuation. Motorists should anticipate disruption and exercise caution due to hazardous driving conditions caused by the flooding.


Terror attack targeting Victory Day celebrations in Moscow foiled, Russia

According to local media sources on Friday, 11 May, as many as 20 people have been arrested by the country’s security services following 17 separate search operations in Novyi Urengoy located in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The authorities have stated that those arrested were a part of a terrorist cell belonging to the Islamic State and were planning to carry out a terror attack during the Victory Day celebrations on 9 May. The arrests took place in the end of April.

Advice to businesses and travellers

The recent arrests indicate an ongoing threat posed by militant activity in Russia often targeting large gatherings during important celebrations and events. Traveller in country are advised to exercise a heightened level of vigilance and immediately report any suspicious items or activity to security forces.