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Guatemala Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

Oct 11, 2005

This Public Announcement is being released to alert U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Guatemala to dangerous conditions, including flooding and landslides, in the aftermath of Hurricane Stan. This Public Announcement expires on October 31.

Heavy rainfall resulting from storms associated with Hurricane Stan has caused floods and landslides in many regions of Guatemala, causing serious loss of life. Most major highways have been cut off, including those leading to several tourist destinations. There have been landslides in Escuintla, Panajachel, Solola, Los Encuentros, Santiago and Atitlan. There have been at least two landslides on the main highway (CA-1) from Guatemala City to the Mexican border. Areas along the Pacific Coast (near highway CA-2) are suffering from rising rivers that have washed away some roads and bridges and are threatening others.

Because of the potential for further flooding and landslides, Guatemala's national disaster response agency (CONRED) has issued a Red Alert for the departments along the Pacific Coast as well as the highland departments of Quetzeltenango, Huehuetenango, Solola, Totonicapan, and Quiche. CONRED has been distributing potable water, food, blankets, and other basic necessities to the areas most affected. Some areas remain without electricity and/or telephone services. Some airlines are reporting flight delays and cancellations, and the Tecun Uman border crossing with Mexico has been temporarily closed due to flooding. The Government of Guatemala specifically advises tourists and residents against traveling on highways to affected areas.

No U.S. citizens have been reported killed or seriously injured as a result of the storms, but the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City has received reports of groups stranded at tourist destinations. Visitors and residents currently in a secure location should remain in place until they can confirm roads are open and safe.

U.S. citizens traveling to and within Guatemala should monitor local newspaper and radio announcements and weather reports for new developments, especially before attempting to drive outside of the cities.

Additional travel information is available in the State Department's consular information program documents, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.

Americans living or traveling in Guatemala are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Guatemala. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy. The Embassy is located in Guatemala City at Avenida La Reforma 7-01, Zone 10, Telephone (502) 2326-4000 during business hours (8:00 AM TO 5:00 PM). The American Citizen Services Unit can be reached at (502) 2326-4405 or for after-hour emergencies at (502) 2331-2354.

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