Travel risk round-up: 11 October

Your risk round-up for the past week.

Low
South Africa: Fatalities Following Traffic Collision on N1 Freeway Near Bela-Bela, Limpopo Province

Emerging social media feeds report on Thursday, 11 October, that at least two people died following a traffic collision between two trucks, occurred on the N1 National Route in the proximity of Bela-Bela, Limpopo province. Disruption may occur in the area as emergency operations continue.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members should monitor local media sources for any further information on the incident and associated travel disruptions, and adjust travel itineraries if necessary in order to maintain business continuity.


High
United States: Category Four Hurricane Michael Makes Landfall in Florida

According to local media sources on Wednesday, 10 October, Category Four Hurricane Michael made landfall near the town of Mexico Beach in Florida. Prior to making landfall Hurricane Michael was exhibiting wind speeds up to 155 mph (249 kmh). Multiple settlements in Michaels’s path have suffered significant damage to infrastructure and buildings. According to the National Hurricane Centre a storm surge will continue along the Florida Panhandle, Big Bend and Nature Coast. Between the Tyndall Air Force Base and the Aucilla River inundation levels are reaching from 5-10 feet. Due to heavy rainfall brought by Michael parts of Florida, southeast Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and southeast Virginia are at risk of flash floods. The hurricane is predicted to move in a north-easterly direction continuing to exhibit winds of 90 mph (145 kmh) into Thursday.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members should monitor local media outlets for hurricane-related updates. Heed any directives given by the authorities for the state of emergency, including evacuation orders, in order to minimise exposure to the impact and other associated risks. Plan any journey well in advance and maintain extra vigilance in the face of debris, high winds and flash floods.


High
Egypt: Dozens of Suspected Militants Killed in Operations Across Sinai Peninsula

According to an update released by the army on Monday, 8 October, security forces have killed 52 suspected militants during two separate operations on the Sinai Peninsula. Three soldiers have also reportedly been killed during the operations, which are aimed at driving out militants who have been waging an insurgency on the peninsula. Last week a militant group there confirmed that its leader Abu Hamza al-Maqdisi had been killed in an air strike.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Due to the threat of militancy and military operations in the country, members with critical travel needs in Sinai should subject all their movements to a location-specific threat assessment and conduct strict risk management procedures in coordination with a trusted security provider. Travellers should minimise the time spent in the vicinity of security forces patrols and positions, as these are regularly targeted in attacks.


Low
Barbados: Casualties Reported in Shooting Incident on Swan Street, Bridgetown

Local media sources report that at least two people were injured in a shooting incident that took place on Friday, 5 October, on Swan Street in Bridgetown. The causes of the incident remain unknown and are yet to be ascertained. Those injured were hospitalised at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH). In Barbados, crime tends to peak during the tourist season from December to April. The most common forms of crime are petty theft and home burglary. Violent crime is rather rare.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Those in Bridgetown should avoid the vicinity of the incident due to the likelihood of further violence. Travellers should monitor local media sources for any further information.


Low
France: Thousands Demonstrate Nationwide Support of Migrant Aid Ship

Thousands of people are demonstrating nationwide for a second day on Sunday, 7 October, to back a private humanitarian ship that rescues migrants who are making the dangerous voyage to Europe across the Mediterranean Sea. The Aquarius’ operator, SOS Mediterranee, is urging European governments to find a new flag for the ship after Panama’s maritime authority removed its registration. The aid group says without a flag, the ship will have to stay in port. The protests are being held in over a dozen cities around the country and have largely been peaceful in nature.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Travellers in France are advised to avoid the area of any protests due to the risk of incidental violence and opportunistic crime. Travellers are advised to follow local media outlets for further updates on any future protests concerning this issue.