Travel risk round-up: 12 April

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Brazil: Significant Damages and Casualties Reported following Overnight-Storm in Rio de Janeiro

Local news outlets have reported that an overnight storm, which began on Monday, 8 April, has caused one fatality and multiple injuries in Rio de Janeiro and the surrounding areas. Social media images show landslides, flooded streets, knocked down trees and thousands of damaged cars across several neighbourhoods in Rio, with the number of dead expected to rise over the coming hours. The one confirmed fatality was reported in Gavea, Zona Sul, with reports stating that a male drowned after falling off his motorcycle and, after being taken by flowing water, was pinned under another vehicle. Rescue operations are currently underway, with firefighters searching for a family of four in Morro da Babilonia, Leme, after they became buried under the floods. Further news is awaited.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Travellers are advised to remain abreast of weather-related developments and review contingency measures to minimise the impact on business continuity. Personnel in flood-affected areas are further advised to remain in a secure location and heed associated instructions issued by authorities. Motorists are advised to subject essential movements to heightened caution due to likely hazardous driving conditions.

Syria: Multiple Fatalities following Shelling in Idlib Province

According to media outlets at least 15 people were killed on Sunday, 7 April, in shelling by government and rebel forces in Idlib province. Reports indicate that government shelling killed at least seven people in rebel-held Nerab and three more in Saraqeb. In addition, five people were reportedly killed in rebel attacks that hit government-held Masyaf. A government-run hospital was also hit during the exchange of rocket fire and reports suggest at least seven civilians were injured.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members should maintain exceptional situational awareness as Syria remains an extreme-risk location. Non-essential travel should be avoided and necessary travel should be carried out using vetted security and travel providers. Travellers are also advised to monitor local news and media for further reports relating to ongoing events in Syria.

Nigeria: Military Forces Evacuate Entire Town of Jakana, Borno State due to Security Operation

According to international media sources on Thursday, 11 April, the Nigerian military evacuated the entire population of the town of Jakana, Borno State, due to an unspecified security operation. The operation took place on Monday, 8 April, in which an estimated 10,000 people were relocated to a camp 25 miles (40km) from Jakana. It is not known when the population will be able to return to their town. Further information is awaited.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members with operationally-critical requirements in the area should conduct a thorough localised threat assessment and ensure that all travel is undertaken in coordination with local security forces and a trusted private security provider. Security and crisis management procedures should be continually reviewed and updated so as to remain commensurate with the local threat environment.

Pakistan: Multiple Fatalities Following Explosion in Quetta, Balochistan

According to local media sources on Friday, 12 April, at least 16 people have been killed, and a further 30 injured, in an explosion at a vegetable market located in the neighbourhood of Hazarganji in south Quetta, Balochistan Province. The explosion is suspected to have been caused by an improvised explosive device (IED). Thus far, no group has claimed responsibility. Those injured have been transferred to the Bolan Medical Complex Hospital.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Those in Quetta should avoid the vicinity of the incident due to the possibility of further explosions and police operations. Members should monitor local media sources for further information and heed any directives issued by the authorities.

Venezuela: Emerging Reports of Fresh Blackouts Nationwide

According to emerging reports on social media, a new blackout has hit several areas of Caracas and areas of other states on Tuesday evening, 9 April. The extent of the power outages are unclear, although some reports suggest as many as 22 out of 23 states have been affected. There have been three previous large-scale blackouts in March, with some areas experiencing days of outages before power was restored. The blackouts have come amidst a power struggle between President Nicolas Maduro, who has blamed the outages on sabotage attacks by foreign-backed opposition elements, and opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has used the blackouts as a catalyst for a series of anti-government protests to try and remove Maduro from power.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members in Venezuela are advised to monitor local media sources for further information and updates on the power outage in their particular area of operations and review contingency and business continuity plans in light of the uncertain power supply situation. Travellers should be mindful of an increased risk of opportunistic crime in the city amid the outages.

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