27 Students and medical staff successfully evacuated during major earthquake in Nepal

Case study

The situation

The April 2015 Nepalese earthquake killed more than 9,000 people and injured more than 23,000.

Clients with people operating in the area requested immediate evacuation for their personnel in the wake of the disaster.


Our response

Drum Cussac in-country security teams were on standby while the UK-based Global Operations Centre collectively gathered as much information about the evacuees, including their locations and contact details. This information was logged in GlobalRiskManager™ to ensure we could manage and monitor the well-being of affected individuals from a central location.

We made contact with affected individuals through mobile and landline phones, email, text and through the real-time, two-communications enabled by GlobalRiskManager™. We also used local communication options while they remained available.

Drum Cussac ensured all evacuees were physically well and had the necessities required, ensuring they were as comfortable as possible in the short-term.

The universities, through their insurance companies, were kept up-to-date with regular situation reports from the GlobalRiskManager™ platform, where our team were publishing regular risk alerts and updates as the situation developed.

Tremors, further earthquakes and the unrest of the local population added to the increasing threat to the evacuees in Nepal. However, we maintained constant communications throughout, even utilising a local coffee shop landline to reach a student at base camp high up in the mountains.

Most of the evacuees were located in Kathmandu and we were able to successfully organise in-country security escorts and support. While maintaining the security of the evacuees and monitoring their wellbeing in GlobalRiskManager™, outbound flights from Kathmandu were booked as soon as they became available, bearing in mind the volume requested.

Our in-country security provider collected students in Lumbini and Chitwan and securely escorted them to Kathmandu through rough terrain; maintaining their security and safety while the area around Kathmandu was in chaos.

The most challenging part of the task was to evacuate a student from Lukla in the heart of the mountains, northwest of Kathmandu: all helicopters had been commandeered by the government for emergency relief.

Drum Cussac was able to charter a plane to collect the student and fly to Kathmandu where an onward flight to the UK was booked. Due to the number of people being evacuated, we flew additional Close Protection Officers in to Nepal to maintain security for the evacuees at all times.


The outcome

Drum Cussac successfully coordinated the evacuation of 10 UK and US university students and 17 staff of a medical assistance partner from the Nepal earthquake. We continued our OverWatch activities, monitoring all parties and the situational developments in GlobalRiskManager™ until all our evacuees left Nepal. We also provided daily situation reports and ensured communications with the relevant Crisis Management Teams to keep them informed.