Travellers impacted by tsunami in Indonesia - efficient communication ensures safe extraction out of incident zone

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When a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck in Indonesia, a tsunami warning was issued but quickly retracted. Shortly afterwards, a tsunami stuck Palu by surprise. Using leading edge technology, Healix rapidly identified four client employees located within the impact radius and provided critical communication, while liaising with on the ground assets to establish a local response for extraction. Once we confirmed the status of the individuals, all were safely escorted to the closest operational airport for onward travel out of the incident zone.

The whole story: On 28th September 2018, a small 6.1 magnitude earthquake occurred off the coast of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Within 30 minutes, a second, major 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck. A tsunami warning was initially issued but soon called off by the authorities.

Healix posted alerts and issued critical advice across all platforms encouraging travellers to move to higher ground where possible, expect further aftershocks and possible damage to infrastructure in the coastal areas to the north.

Shortly afterwards, a tsunami struck Palu. In total over 2,250 people were killed.

  • Following the impact of the tsunami, Healix stood up the Active Monitoring process and identified employee exposure utilising granular traveller information to effectively pinpoint their locations.
  • Four individuals directly impacted by the event were identified. Our security coordinators engaged in two-way messaging and sent out status requests: one confirmed that they were receiving treatment in an appropriate medical centre, two confirmed that they were at the airport, and the fourth did not respond.
  • After liaising with the travellers’ security manager, Healix reached out to our assets on the ground to establish physical response times to Palu. At the same time we advised the travellers that were safe at the airport to stand fast for the coming hours, but to prepare for aftershocks.
  • Local contacts of the non-responsive traveller were able to confirm his well-being shortly afterwards.
  • Extraction from Palu for the four travellers became a priority as the scale of the damage was revealed.
  • The airport’s status, road conditions and landslide risks were assessed, and informed recommendations for the extraction were made to the security manager.
  • Shortly afterwards, a road evacuation was implemented using the advice provided, to the nearest operational airport in Makassar.

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If you are interested in finding out more about Healix 24/7 Global Security Operations Centres, or if you would like further information on how we can help you with your Travel Risk Management programme, please email us at enquiries@healix.com.