Travel risk round-up: 8 March

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Norway: Reports of Avalanche on Sondre Smatindan Mountain in Troms County

According to local media sources on Friday, 8 March, police are currently investigating reports of an avalanche on Sondre Smatindan Mountain in Troms County. The landslide reportedly occurred in a common hiking area near the peak of the mountain. Authorities are currently surveying the area using helicopters and search dogs. It is not clear at this time if anyone has been caught in the avalanche.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members travelling in avalanche-prone areas should ensure that a detailed route card is supplied to a colleague or a place of residence, so that, in the event of an avalanche, emergency rescue teams can optimise their search plans. Those within affected areas are advised to closely monitor weather-related developments and remain alert to any further directives issued by authorities.

Nigeria: Pirates Attack and Board Vessel off the Coast of Lagos

According to maritime intelligence reports on Monday, 4 March, the vessel Cap Theodora, which sails under the Greek flag, was allegedly attacked and boarded on Saturday, 2 March, while sailing some 105 nautical miles off the coast of Lagos. Preliminary reports suggest that the pirates were travelling in two skiffs, with the occupants of both of the speed-boats boarding the vessel. The crew reportedly gathered in the citadel until a Nigerian navy vessel attended the incident and confirmed there were no longer pirates on board.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Those in the region are advised to continue to employ security measures commensurate with mitigating risks in a high threat maritime environment. Vessels are advised to maintain anti-piracy watches and exercise vigilance at all times, especially during the late night or early morning hours when berthed at anchorages of ports as well as local/regional voyages.

Afghanistan: Multiple Fatalities Confirmed following Complex Attack in Jalalabad, Nangarhar Province

Authorities have confirmed that at least 16 people were killed following an attack against a construction company office near Jalalabad Airport (JAA), in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province, on Wednesday, 6 March. The attack began when two suicide bombers set off their explosives outside the company office and gunmen then opened fire. Five of the attackers were also killed during the incident, which no group has yet claimed responsibility for. Further information is awaited.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Afghanistan remains an extremely high-risk operational environment and deployments should only be undertaken with the strictest possible security risk management procedures in place. Members should maintain a low profile and use a vetted security provider that offers close protection and emergency response services. Minimise time spent in the vicinity of security checkpoints, security headquarters and government buildings, as these are among the primary targets for militant attacks.

France: Renewed Unrest in the Mistral District of Grenoble following the Deaths of Suspected Bike Thieves

According to regional media sources on Tuesday, 5 March, the Mistral District of Grenoble has experienced several nights of unrest following the deaths of two suspected bike thieves. Residents and police clashed throughout the night of Monday, 4 March and Tuesday, 5 March, with projectiles, including fireworks and Molotov cocktails being used against police. Several vehicles were also set alight during the unrest, with residents using windows and rooftops to drop the petrol bombs. The unrest follows the death of two young residents, who were hit by a bus while allegedly driving a stolen scooter and being chased by police. Unrest as a result of the incident was also experienced in the La Villeneuve and Teisseire areas of Grenoble, as well as the town of Echirolles.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members in Grenoble are advised to remain well clear of the affected areas while police operations are underway. Heed all directives issued by authorities and report any suspicious activity immediately. Those travelling in the surrounding area or are advised to anticipate disruption and plan alternate routes accordingly.

Spain: Man arrested following Attempted Stabbing of Police Officers in Barcelona

According to international media sources, police in Barcelona reportedly arrested a man on Marina street near the Ronda Litoral after he attempted to stab police officers on patrol in the area at approximately 1530hrs (1430 UTC) on Wednesday, 6 March. According to local sources, the incident did not result in any casualties. An investigation is ongoing to determine the motive behind the attempted attack and therefore a heightened security presence should be anticipated.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Clients in Barcelona are advised to monitor local media sources for any further information and heed any directives issued by the authorities. Any suspicious activity should be immediately reported to authorities and members should maintain strong situational awareness.

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