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New Zealand Travel Alert

Issued by US Department of State

Feb 25, 2011

The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the devastation in Christchurch in the wake of an earthquake that struck New Zealand on February 21, 2011. New Zealand government agencies are advising against any non-essential travel to Christchurch at this time; other areas of New Zealand are not affected. Considerable damage has occurred in the Christchurch Central Business District, Lyttelton, and surrounding suburbs. There is a cordon around the central business district, where the heaviest damage occurred. Damage assessment is ongoing, and the rescue work is likely to take days to complete. This Travel Alert replaces the Travel Alert dated February 22, 2011, and expires on March 22, 2011.

New Zealand government agencies have established emergency medical and welfare relief shelters, at which U.S. citizens in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland can find water, food, shelter, and medical care. Christchurch International Airport has resumed full commercial operations, although seats are limited. Commercial flights are operating from Christchurch to Auckland, Wellington, and Australia. Personnel at the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland will assist with documentation of citizenship, onward travel, and emergency needs. U.S. citizens in New Zealand should contact family members immediately to confirm their safety and well-being; this will help the U.S. government identify those still unaccounted for in Christchurch.

U.S. citizens may contact the U.S. Consulate, located at 23 Customs Street East, Auckland via e-mail at In the event of a U.S. citizen emergency that cannot wait until the next business day, the emergency number is: 64 9 303 2724 x 2900 or 011-64 9 303 2724 x 2900 (as dialed within the United States).

All U.S. citizens in New Zealand are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at the following website: https://travelregistration.state.gov. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

For the latest security information on travel and security in New Zealand, U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings, and health-information resources can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada or, for callers in other areas by calling a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

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