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Chile Travel Alert

Issued by US Department of State

Mar 12, 2010

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the situation in Chile in the aftermath of the February 27 earthquake. The earthquake struck 73 miles north of Concepcion (Chile's second largest city; pop. 650,000) and 197 miles south of Santiago and measured 8.8 in magnitude. To date, according to Chilean authorities 496 people are confirmed to have died in the natural disaster, hundreds were injured, and thousands of homes and commercial properties were damaged, primarily in the South Central regions of BioBio and Maule. This Travel Alert replaces the one issued on March 1, 2010 and provides updated information on airport services, areas to avoid, and contact information for travelers. This Travel Alert expires on April 11, 2010.

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to avoid non-essential travel to those areas closest to the epicenter and most affected by the earthquake, including the cities of Concepcion, Talcahuano and Temuco and the coastal areas in Bio Bio and Maule districts.

Following more than a week operating out of temporary facilities, the Santiago International Airport reopened with a limited schedule of domestic and international flights on March 9, 2010. The Santiago airport is expected to be fully operational by March 22, 2010. All other regional airports are open and operating on normal schedules.

Strong aftershocks are likely for weeks following a strong earthquake such as this one. The American Red Cross recommends that in the event of an aftershock, persons outdoors should avoid being struck by falling debris by moving to open spaces, away from walls, windows, buildings, and other structures that may collapse. If indoors, DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON: drop under a sturdy desk or table, hold on, and protect your eyes by pressing your face against your arm. If there is no table or desk nearby, sit on the floor against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you, and protect your eyes. Avoid damaged buildings and downed power lines. Avoid using matches, lighters, candles, or any open flame in case of disrupted gas lines (FEMA Earthquake info).

Americans living or traveling in Chile are encouraged to register with the State Department's travel registration website to obtain updated information on travel and security within Chile. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in Santiago. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

U.S. Embassy Santiago
Avenida Andres Bello 2800, Las Condes
Santiago, Chile
Phone: 56-2-330 30 00
Fax: 56-2-330 30 05
After Hours Emergency Line: (56-2) 330-3000

Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or outside the United States and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. For information on general crime and security issues, U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Chile as well as the Worldwide Caution located on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

U.S. citizens may also call the Office of Overseas Citizens Services in the United States for the latest travel information. The Office of Overseas Citizens Services can be reached from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday, by calling 1-888-407-4747 from within the United States and Canada, or by calling (202) 501-4444 from other countries.

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