United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520
January 10, 2012
Squaremouth recommends travel insurance for all your overseas trips.
The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to the Philippines to difficult conditions in the flood-affected areas of the southern part of the Philippines, particularly the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Norte, which include the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, respectively. The Philippine government has declared a state of emergency (the official Philippine terminology is “state of calamity”) for the region. The Department of State recommends against all but essential travel to the affected areas. This Travel Alert extends only to the areas of the Philippines listed in the following paragraph. This Travel Alert will expire on February 5, 2012.
Tropical Storm Washi (known locally as Tropical Storm Sendong) brought exceptionally heavy rainfall and produced extensive flooding in heavily-populated coastal areas throughout many provinces in the southern part of the Philippines. Flooding and landslides have caused significant loss of life and damage to property. The affected areas include the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro in the province of Misamis Oriental and, to a lesser extent, towns in 12 additional provinces: Capiz, Bohol, Negros Oriental, Zamboanga del Norte, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Although the floodwaters have receded, destroyed bridges and blocked roads have hampered transportation and limited access to some essential services in the affected regions. There are reports of shortages of bottled water and food, and disruptions to communication, transportation, and power services. These disruptions increase the risk of waterborne disease. It is unclear how long these conditions will last. U.S. citizens in the affected areas should follow the advice of local authorities, monitor local media, and refer to the U.S. Embassy web page for specific information.
U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in the Philippines are encouraged to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By enrolling, you make it easier for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to contact you in case of an emergency.
U.S. citizens living in the Philippines should contact the U.S. Embassy in Manila for the most up-to-date information. The American Citizen Services Unit is located in the Embassy at 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila, and can be reached by calling 63-2-301-2000, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Embassy’s after-hours emergency telephone number is 63-2-301-2000.
Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).