Disaster operations

Relief Operations

In events such as natural disasters, famines, refugee crises etc. Helimission, in cooperation with other aid organizations,  provides rapid assistance to the people in the affected areas.

In the past, Helimission has provided relief assistance to the following countries:

2018
Sulawesi, Indonesia
Earthquake/ Tsunami
On September 28, 2018, a devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami triggered a humanitarian disaster. Miraculously, none of the Helimission employees, situated right in the center of the affected area, were injured. Our hangar, helicopter and all our employees' houses were not seriously damaged, even though countless cracks in the buildings provide a constant reminder of the quake.
Helimission immediately joined forces with two other relief organizations on site to provide disaster relief as quickly as possible.

Helimission's aid in this disaster:
53 tons of material transported
85 flights with teams of doctors
157 helicopter hours flown
401 landings
approx. 700 people transported

2018 Madagascar
Cyclone "Ava"

After Cyclone "Ava" hit the east coast of Madagascar, several roads were damaged and in some places bridges and dams were completely washed away cutting off several people from the outside world. In collaboration with MAF we evaluated the situation and initiated further steps.

2017 Madagascar
Cyclone"Enawo"
After Cyclone "Enawo" wreaked havoc in the northwest of Madagascar, killing over 78 people , injuring over 150 and destroying thousands of buildings, Helimission evaluated  the need for a helicopter. Immediately it became clear that our support was urgently needed. We transported food, water, medicine and specialists from other relief organizations into the isolated areas.

2016 Philippines
Typhoon"Haima"
After one of the strongest typhoons to every hit the Philippines struck, Helimission immediately evaluated what measures needed to be taken. The storm, with winds similar to those of the devastating typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda - the Philippine name), killed several people and destroyed thousands of houses, bridges and rice fields. Thanks to our local contacts, it quickly became clear that financial support was the fastest and most effective way of getting aid to those in need. 

2016 Haiti
Hurricaine"Matthew" in Haiti

Helimission supported the victims of hurricane “Matthew” through the ministry of Miriam Frederik. Miriam has been running an orphanage in Port au Prince for the last 30 years. She is also in charge of various churches and social projects in the remote parts in the South West of the island. Dr. Stephen Schroering accompanied Miriam on a 10-day journey through this difficult terrain.

2015 Nepal
Earthquake in Nepal
Following the devastating earthquake in Nepal, Helimission provided support financially and by providing qualified staff to assist with organizing relief flights. We are very grateful for the good collaboration with MAF.

2013-14 Philippines
Typhoon"Yolanda (Haiyan)"

Together with NTMA, we distributed 93 tons of relief goods and transported 405 people. We also distributed 4000 kilos of seaweed seedlings to give the islanders a means of support.

2012 Brazil
Flood of the century

In the upper Amazon region (Brazil and Peru) huge areas were flooded. We helped with the distribution of food parcels.

2012 Philippines
Typhoon "Sendong"
Shortly before Christmas, the tropical storm “Sendong” surprised the inhabitants of Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, and Ozamis City in their sleep. The typhoon claimed many lives. Helimission provided financial support.

2011 Ethiopia
Famine in the Horn of Africa
Due to a major drought, Kenya, Somalia and Southern Ethiopia were affected by a severe famine. With our helicopter in Hawassa (Ethiopia) we provided aid by sending in teams and food to the affected areas.

2010 Pakistan
Flood disaster

In Pakistan, heavy rainfall led to catastrophic flooding. We supported local relief organizations and churches financially so that urgently needed drinking water, food, medicine, building material and other supplies could be purchased locally.

2010 Haiti
Earthquake

Helimission chartered two helicopters from the USA and brought them to Haiti. These were used for the distribution of aid and supplies and to transport injured people, medicine and medical teams.

2008 Brazil
Flooding

In Santa Catharina (Brazil) heavy rainfall led to flooding and devastation in December 2008. We supported aid workers on site.

2005 Nias
Earthquake

Following the sea and earthquake in Nias, Indonesia, support was provided with  helicopters.

2004/05 Sumatra
Marine earthquake in Asia

We provided disaster relief following the tsunami on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia.

2004 Madagascar
Cyclones
Following hurricanes "Elita" and "Gafilo" in February and March 2004, our pilots flew reconnaissance flights with various organizations to assess the extent of the damage and plan relief efforts. Medical teams were flown in and approximately 15 tons of rice, corn, plastic blankets and other urgently needed items were distributed.

2002 Congo
Volcanic eruption in Goma
More than 300,000 people were affected by the volcanic eruption in Goma (Congo) and 100,000 lost their homes. The stream of lava divided the city into two parts: east and west. Humanitarian aid could only be provided on foot over the still hot flow of lava.  

In January, three days after the disaster, our two pilots from the Helimission base in Kenya landed with the helicopter in Goma. Ernie Tanner, the director of Helimission,  coordinated operations on site together with Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders), Asrames (Regional Organization for Healthcare), UN seismologists and various film teams.

Thanks to our flights with seismologists, fears of a further eruption were alleviated.  Thanks to the helicopter, Médecins sans Frontières were able to get an overview of the refugee situation and Asrames could fly much needed medicine to the various centers. Helimission's helicopter was the only one stationed in the disaster area. 

2001 Mozambique
Flooding
In February 2001, heavy rainfall in Mozambique and in the Zambezi river basin led to flooding. The flooding in the Zambesi river delta covered an area of around one million hectares of land. This corresponds to about four times the area of the Netherlands.

At least 75 people were killed, and more than 120,000 people were forced to leave their homes. In March, Helimission provided assistance in cooperation with various organizations such as The World Food Program, The Nazarene Church Organization, The German Technical Relief Organization, The Red Cross, USAID, Dorcas Aid, local authorities etc. 

Our helicopter was mainly used for reconnaissance flights, medical flights, flying medical teams, as well as for distributing emergency aid packages containing rice, corn, oil, seeds and cooking pots.

2000 Madagascar
3  cyclones within a short period: "Eline", "Gloria" and "Hudah"
On February 17, the first cyclone "Eline" reached Madagascar and caused considerable damage along the east coast south of Tamatave. Several cities suffered destruction of up to 40%.  A short time later, cyclone "Gloria" struck with heavy rainfall and winds on the northern part of the island causing severe damage. 

On April 2, "Hudah", the strongest of the three cyclones, raged over the northeast of the island with wind speeds of up to 315 km/h. The coastal town of Antalaha was almost completely destroyed. More than 500,000 people were affected, and at least 85 people were killed.

In more than 200 flight hours, over 70 villages were reached during these missions.  Medical equipment and reconnaissance teams were flown into the disaster areas. In addition, over 140 tons of food were distributed and medicine, blankets, soap and building material were flown into the emergency areas.

2000 Mozambique
Flooding
Food, drinking water, medicine and household start-up packages were distributed. Teams of doctors from the German relief organization "humedica" were flown into the flooded areas.

1999 Albania
Refugee Crisis
Helimission's SOS container houses served as a medical center in a large refugee camp. Financial assistance was also given to other relief organizations and aid-giving churches.

1998 Honduras
Hurricane "Mitch"
Distribution of many tons of clothing and 20 tons of food and medicine. Transport of doctors, officials, geologists and film teams.

1998 Papua
Drought
After a severe drought, the government requested assistance. We distributed many tons of food and medicine in cooperation with the Australian Government, Médecins sans Frontières and Mission Aviation Fellowship.

1997 Madagascar
Cyclone "Gretelle"
In cooperation with several relief organizations, we transported doctors and distributed around five tons of medicine and fifteen tons of rice and special food.

1994 Rwanda
Civil War
Missions with UNHCRTHW (the German Technical Relief Agency), Médecins sans Frontières, OXFAM and other relief organizations supplying water for two camps with 27,000 and 200,000 refugees. Distribution of medicine, plastic blankets and water purification systems.

1994 Madagascar
Cyclone "Geralda"
Reconnaissance flights with engineers, railway executives and officials from the World Bank. Transport of 340 lattice boxes to repair the railroad, ensuring supplies reached the capital.

192-94 Albania
Following political upheaval
Transport and distribution of 50,000 pairs of shoes, 30 tons of clothes, 100 tons of seed potatoes, 5 tons of seed corn, 1 ton of vegetable seeds, etc. by helicopter and 4 x 4 trucks to the remote mountain villages.

1991 Kurdistan/Turkey
Civil War
Supplying the refugee camps with 60,000 liters of drinking water. The operation prevented an epidemic, saving thousands of people from dying of thirst.

1988 Sudan
Flooding of the Nile
For the UNHCR  we flew 100 tons of relief supplies, such as woolen blankets and medicines, across the Nile to the isolated villages.

1986 Cameroon
Toxic gas explosion in Nyos
Evacuating and feeding the survivors. Transporting the Swiss Disaster Relief Corps and seismological alarm systems.

1985 Sudan
Drought
Supporting the UNHCR distribute many tons of food and medicine. Transporting medical teams into 8 camps to fight the cholera epidemic.

1980 Italy
Earthquake
Supporting the German Red Cross (DRK).  Organizing and monitoring the distribution of relief goods. Distribution of 2,000 Christmas parcels to people living in emergency shelters.

1974/1975/1985 Ethiopia
Drought
Distribution of 10 to 15 tons of food per day to around 20,000 hungry people.