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Travel Alerts

11 Feb 2018

Russia: Moscow oblast: Saratov Airlines flights normalise following fatal crash in Argunovo; reconfirm schedules as precaution (Revised)

At least 71 people are confirmed to have been killed when Saratov Airlines flight 6W 703 crashed at approximately 14.30 (local time) on 11 February in Argunovo (Moscow oblast), around 50 miles (80km) south-east of the capital Moscow. Reports indicate that Saratov Airlines is now operating largely to schedule, with the exception of two flights. Members due to fly with Saratov Airlines are nevertheless advised to reconfirm their flights as a standard precaution.

Advice

  • We do not hold information on specific flights. Contact the relevant airport or carrier directly to confirm the status of flights. In the event of any cancellations, your travel agent will be able to assist with alternative arrangements.
  • Continue to avoid the vicinity of the crash site in Argunovo.
  • Monitor our Russia alerts for further details.

More detail

The flight was enroute from Moscow Domodedovo Airport (DME) to Orsk Airport (OSW, Orenburg oblast) when it crashed in a remote field in Argunovo some minutes after take-off. The cause of the crash remains unclear. Three foreign nationals are among those reported to have been killed.

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08 Feb 2018

Members in the capital Dhaka on 8 February should avoid potential protests and minimise movement around the city, amid heightened tensions over the conviction of Khaleda Zia, leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on corruption charges. The verdict was announced at the Special Court-5 building in the Bakshi Bazar area of the capital; Zia has been taken to the Old Central Jail. Clashes have been reported in the Old Dhaka area, despite heightened security measures throughout the city.

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake at around 23.50 (local time) on 6 February struck around 13 miles (21km) north-north-east of Hualien (Hualien county). No tsunami alert has been issued for the affected region following the temblor, which occurred at a depth of around five miles (9km). Details are still emerging; more to follow.

Advice

  • Avoid the Bakshi Bazar and the Old Central Jail areas of the city.
  • Minimise non-essential movement outside the city's Gulshan, Banani and Baridhara areas in the coming hours.
  • Monitor our alerts on Bangladesh for related developments.

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06 Feb 2018

Taiwan: Magnitude 6.4 earthquake strikes off Hualien; avoid low-lying coastal areas

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake at around 23.50 (local time) on 6 February struck around 13 miles (21km) north-north-east of Hualien (Hualien county). No tsunami alert has been issued for the affected region following the temblor, which occurred at a depth of around five miles (9km). Details are still emerging; more to follow.

Advice

  • Avoid low-lying coastal areas.
  • Further aftershocks are possible and could pose a threat to life and property, as well as cause further damage to already weakened structures; do not enter damaged buildings.
  • Abide by all directives issued by the local authorities in the affected areas.
  • Monitor our Taiwan alerts for further updates.

Manager Advice

  • Account for staff in the affected vicinity.

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05 Feb 2018

Maldives: Male, Addu City: Continue to defer travel over next 48 hours following imposition of state of emergency (Revised)

Members should continue to defer all travel to the capital Male and Addu City (Addu Atoll) over the next 48 hours, after the government on 5 February declared a 15-day state of emergency amid a deepening political crisis. If currently in Male or Addu City, travellers should minimise movement for the next 48 hours. The turmoil follows a Supreme Court ruling on 1 February ordering the release of opposition leaders currently in jail over terrorism charges, which was not complied by President Abdulla Yameen’s government. Despite prohibition on protests, there is potential for further anti-government demonstrations, particularly in central Male.

Advice

  • Continue to defer all travel to the capital Male and Addu City (Addu Atoll) for the next 48 hours. If currently in Male or Addu City, minimise movement for the next 48 hours.
  • Travel to the rest of the Maldives can proceed, including to Hulhule island, where Male International Airport (MLE) is located. If planning travel to other islands, confirm with hotels and transport providers that journeys do not involve transiting in Male or Addu City, which is served by Gan International Airport (GAN). Most business-class hotels are able to arrange transport directly from Male airport. If you require an overnight stay on arrival or before departure from Male airport, select business-class hotels located near the facility.
  • Liaise with local contacts to keep apprised of all developments, including any protests or security operations. Avoid all demonstrations and minimise time spent in the vicinity of likely protest areas or security personnel, to reduce incidental exposure to any unrest. If inadvertently caught up in such gatherings, return to a secure location such as your accommodation or office.
  • Expect an increased security force presence in Male and Addu City; follow all official directives.
  • Monitor our alerts on the Maldives for further updates.

More detail

Following the declaration of a state of emergency, military and police personnel were deployed in Male. The security forces arrested former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (1978-2008 in office) at his residence, and blockaded the Supreme Court building in attempt to arrest chief justice Abdulla Saeed and other senior judiciary officials. Anti-government protests occurred in response outside the Supreme Court, prompting riot police to use pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

An increased security force presence is expected in the capital, particularly around the Supreme Court and the parliament building, which has been sealed off since 4 February. Protests previously took place outside Saeed’s residence and the Male Prison in Male, as well as at the Maafushi Prison (Maafushi island, Kaafu Atoll). Other potential flashpoints in Male include the MDP office, Artificial Beach, Majeedhee Magu, and Republic Square (known locally as Jamhooree Maidaan). Given Male's small size, protests have the potential to cause significant travel disruption.

Protests outside Male are likely to remain sporadic. At present, the state of emergency is unlikely to significantly impact other islands. Male International Airport, as well as airports serving other resort islands, is currently operating as normal.

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Advice provided in this email represents the best judgment of AEA International Holdings Pte. Ltd. and Control Risks Group Holdings Ltd. Advice in this email does not however provide a warranty of future results nor a guarantee against risk.

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

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