China Travel Warning

Issued by U.S. Department of State

May 15, 2008

This Travel Alert advises American citizens that a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck China's eastern Sichuan province on May 12.  Due to rescue and relief operations, damage to infrastructure throughout the area, and the continuing potential for aftershocks, U.S. citizens are urged to defer travel to Sichuan province.  This Travel Alert expires on June 30, 2008. The epicenter of the quake was near Wenchuan County, approximately 55 miles northwest of Chengdu, Sichuan's provincial capital.  While there was less damage in Chengdu itself, cities and towns closer to the epicenter suffered significantly with thousands of casualties.  Chinese authorities report that over 13,000 people were killed, over 25,000 injured, and many more reported missing.  These figures are expected to rise as more information becomes available. 

Although the Chengdu airport is open, scheduling flights, particularly outbound flights, remains difficult.  The airport in Jiuzhaigou, close to the epicenter, is closed for all but emergency services.  Ground transportation throughout the region is also not yet operating normally.  Road conditions in the areas of impact are problematic, with many roads difficult to pass.  The only rail-line service currently in operation is from Chengdu to Shaanxi.  Telephone service near the epicenter is still poor, although some text messages and cell phone calls seem to be going through.  Telephone service for the rest of Sichuan generally seems to be back to normal.

The U.S. Consulate in Chengdu is open for full consular services and is assisting U.S. citizens in the region.  Officers from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing have been sent to Chengdu to assist. U.S. citizens in the region are urged to contact family members in the United States regarding their safety and welfare, monitor the local news and maintain contact with the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu.  U.S. citizens with family members in China should continue to attempt to reach them by telephone or email.  Family members and friends unable to verify the safety and welfare of U.S. citizens in the affected area should call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada or from other areas via a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. Information on earthquakes and earthquake preparedness may be found at www.ready.gov/america/beinformed/earthquakes.html and at www.fema.gov/hazard/earthquake/index.shtm.

The U.S. Embassy can be reached 24 hours per day at 86-10-6532-3431. The addresses and telephone contact information for the US Embassy and Consulates are at the bottom of this alert. 

U.S. citizens residing or traveling in China are reminded to register with the U.S. Embassy or closest U.S. Consulate by entering your travel itinerary and contact information at: https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs.  In case of difficulties registering online, please contact the closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

U.S. Embassy Beijing:   No. 2 Xiu Shui Dong Jie, Chaoyang District.  tel: 86-10-6532-3431 Email: amcitbeijing@state.gov. Embassys website:  beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn. 

U.S. Consulate General Chengdu:  Number 4, Lingshiguan Road, Section 4, Renmin Nanlu, Chengdu 610041, tel. 86-28-8558-3992 Email: consularchengdu@state.gov. 

U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou:  The Consular Section is located at 5th Floor, Tianyu Garden (II phase), 136-146 Lin He Zhong Lu, Tianhe District, tel. (86-20) 8518-7605; Email: GuangzhouACS@state.gov. Guangzhou adoptions Email: GuangzhouA@state.gov.

U.S. Consulate General Shanghai:  The Consular Section is located in the Westgate Mall, 8th Floor, 1038 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai 200041; tel. (86-21) 3217-4650, Email: Shanghaiacs@state.gov.

U.S. Consulate General Shenyang:  No. 52, 14th Wei Road, Heping District, Shenyang 110003; tel. (86-24) 2322-1198, Email: ShenyangACS@state.gov.

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