Travel risk round-up: 29 March

Low
France: Over a Hundred Staff and Guests Evacuated From a Hotel in Megeve following a Fire

According to regional media sources on Friday, 29 March, some 180 people, made up of staff members and guests, have been evacuated from the Four Seasons hotel in the Ski resort of Megeve, located in the Mont Blanc Massif. It’s believed the blaze started in the hotel’s wooden roof at around 2200hrs (2100UTC) on Thursday, 28 March, and it reportedly took 70 firefighters the rest of the night to get in under control.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Those in Megeve should avoid the vicinity of the incident due to ongoing operations and should anticipate traffic disruption in the immediate future. Members should monitor local media sources for further information and heed any directives issued by the authorities.


Moderate
Israel & Palestinian Territories – Reports of Multiple Injured after Rocket Hits House in Central Israel

National news outlets are reporting on Monday, 25 March, that seven people have been injured after a rocket, which was fired from the Gaza Strip, struck a house in Herut, Lev HaSharon Regional Council, near Kfar Saba, Central district. The attack comes just a day after the Israel Defense Force’s shelling of numerous Hamas military posts in Gaza, which took place on Sunday, 24 March. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Further news is awaited.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are advised to remain extremely vigilant amid the heightened tensions and ongoing unrest, immediately reporting any suspicious activity to authorities. Members in southern Israel are advised to minimise time spent near the border due to the threat of exposure to cross-border attacks. Members should seek to vacate the area immediately if a planned or spontaneous protest occurs in their area of operations.


Moderate
Democratic Republic of Congo – North Kivu and Ituri Ebola Outbreak Exceeds a Thousand Cases

According to local media sources, the Health Ministry announced on Monday, 25 March that the number of cases in the Ebola epidemic in North Kivu and Ituri provinces has now exceeded a thousand. Despite new trial vaccines, experimental treatments and improved health worker training, public mistrust and regional insecurity has led to difficulties in curbing the spread of the virus. Five Ebola treatment centres have been attacked since February and led to the suspension of activities by the French Medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF). With over 600 people dying from the disease, the outbreak has now become the second deadliest in history, behind the West Africa outbreak of 2013-16.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members travelling to the DRC and to the DRC border region of Uganda should remain apprised of Ebola-related developments as a precautionary measure. Travellers to the region should continue to follow advice from health officials. Frequent hand-washing and abstaining from consuming bush meat can help to minimise the risk of exposure to the virus. Travellers should be aware that additional screening measures, which were implemented in response to the initial outbreak, may still be in place at entry points into the DRC and neighbouring countries.


Moderate
Guatemala: Dozens Killed following Road Traffic Accident in Nahuala, Solola Department

According to local media sources, at least 32 people were killed and dozens more were injured after the onlookers of a road traffic accident involving a motorcyclist were hit by a lorry in Nahuala, Solola department, on Wednesday evening, 27 March. Emergency services are at the scene, and the injured are being transferred to a nearby hospital. Further information is awaited.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Vehicular accidents are commonplace largely due to poorly maintained roads, erratic local driving behaviours and limited enforcement of traffic rules. Members are reminded that self-driving is not recommended for those unfamiliar with local roads and when utilising transport providers, members should ensure that they use a reputable service provider with proven safety standards and maintenance records.


Low
Sweden: Multiple Injuries Reported after an Explosion in Vallingby

According to international media sources, an explosion has injured at least five people in the industrial area of Vallingby, on the outskirts of Stockholm on Wednesday, 27 March. Two of those injured have been taken to hospital to receive treatment. The source of the explosion is not yet known, but reports suggest that there was significant damage to cars, homes and businesses that were near to the explosion. Authorities have cordoned the area off while investigations are being carried out, but supposedly the incident is not being treated as criminal. Further information is awaited.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members are advised to avoid the vicinity of the aforementioned area in order to avoid further exposure to any potential risks. There may be localised disruption as investigations are ongoing and therefore members are also advised to monitor local news and media for further information. Travellers should heed any directives given by authorities.


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