Travel risk round-up: 1 February

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The following risk alerts were taken directly from our RiskMonitor platform.

Canada: Heavy Snowfall Over Toronto Causes Significant Travel Disruptions

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for Toronto on Monday, 28 January, as heavy snowfall impacts travel across the region. The federal weather agency stated that multiple types of severe weather are expected to occur simultaneously. Forecasts predict that Toronto will experience up to 25cm (10 inches) of snow by Tuesday morning. Local authorities are advising travellers to execute caution during any commute undertaken in Toronto. A spokesperson from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ) has stated that flight delays and cancellations are already underway and are expected throughout Tuesday, 29 January.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members in Toronto are advised to exercise extreme caution during overland travel and ensure that supplies such as blankets, food and water are stocked. Heed any directives issued by authorities and allow for additional journey time with all travel. Members travelling via YYZ are advised to contact their travel provider prior to departure to confirm the status of their flight and ensure extra time when travelling to the airport.

United Kingdom: Reports of Railway Disruption Along Greenwich Line

According to social media accounts of Railway service providers on Monday, 28 January, several trains have been delayed along the Greenwich Line. Reports indicate that the delays have been caused by a disruptive passenger at Slade Green railway station. The social media account of Southeastern Railways has stated that trains have started moving along the line. Residual delays may occur.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Those wishing to travel along the Greenwich line should anticipate a disruption in services and should monitor local media sources of further information.

Somalia: Multiple Casualties as Two Car Bombs Detonate in Mogadishu

National news outlets are reporting that at least seven people were killed and a further five injured after two car bombs detonated in Mogadishu on Tuesday, 29 January. According to reports, the first explosion took place as security officials stopped a car at a checkpoint near the historic centre and City Hall, killing three and injuring five others. The second blast claimed the lives of four others, approximately one hour after the initial blast, in the district of Daynile. Sources state that Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for both explosions on its radio station.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Due to the ongoing conflict and frequent militant attacks, Somalia remains an extremely high-risk environment and all travel to the country should be reconsidered. Members in Mogadishu are advised to avoid the vicinity of the area due to the risk of tertiary devices. Members should maintain a heightened level of vigilance and should report any suspicious items or activity to authorities.

Venezuela: Multiple Journalists Detained While Working in Caracas, Capital Region

According to international media sources on Thursday, 31 January, three journalists and a driver, have been detained while attempting to cover the ongoing unrest in Caracas. A Colombian photographer, along with his Venezuelan driver, was allegedly recently arrested while trying to cover anti-government protests. Furthermore, a Spanish reporter and Colombian TV producer were reportedly arrested by intelligence officers while at their hotel. The above arrests are just the latest in a series of crackdowns against those reporting the on-going nationwide unrest. Earlier this week, two Chilean reporters were detained and deported, and on Wednesday, 30 January, French diplomatic sources revealed they were working on getting two French reporters released after they too were detained while covering the unrest.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Those engaged in journalistic activities in Venezuela are advised to maintain a high level of situational awareness at all times. Members are advised to avoid any demonstrations due to the security risk that they pose. Any large crowds should be avoided and strong situational awareness should be maintained at all times. Travellers are also encouraged to monitor local news and media for further information relating to the protest. Further, Due to the ongoing civil unrest and violent clashes associated with the ongoing protests and demonstrations, members are advised to avoid all non-essential travel to Venezuela.

Germany: Controlled Detonation of World War Two Bomb Causes Damage to Buildings in Central Lingen, Lower Saxony

According to regional media sources on Friday, 1 February, the controlled explosion of a 500 pound (227 kilos) Second World War bomb has led to several properties being damaged in Lingen, Lower Saxony. Police released a statement noting that defusing the bomb had been more complicated than first expected, clarifying that the damage to properties was only material. Some 8,800 people were reported to have been evacuated across the town, with old town being most affected. There were no injuries reported following the incident.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members with travel plans involving transit via Lingen should review their travel plans in light of expected disruptions. They should monitor local media sources and official announcements for further updates.

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