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

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. Contact was made though mobile, landline, email, text and local communication while it 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 Drum Cussac team.

Further earthquakes, after tremors and the unrest of the local population added to the increasing threat to Drum Cussac evacuees in Nepal; however, constant communication was maintained, even with a student at base camp high up in the mountains, by utilising the local coffee shop landline.

Most of the evacuees were located in Kathmandu and we were able to successfully organise in-country security escorts and support. Whilst maintaining security of the evacuees, 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.

Challenges

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.

Successful Conclusion

Drum Cussac successfully coordinated the evacuation of 10 UK and US university students and 17 staff of a medical assistance partner. We continued to ‘overwatch’ the situation until all our evacuees left Nepal; providing daily situation reports and communication with the relevant Crisis Management Teams to keep them informed.