US State Department and CDC Issue Nepal Travel Warnings
The U.S. Department of State has issued a travel warning for Nepal, saying that U.S. citizens should “defer non-essential travel there” in the aftermath of April 25’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
Aftershocks “of significant magnitude” are still a concern, and the State Department’s description of conditions in Nepal are not conducive to an enjoyable vacation: “Infrastructure is fragile and access to basic resources, including healthcare, could be limited. Cell phone and internet service are intermittent. In Kathmandu and elsewhere, some buildings are collapsed and some roads are impassable, making transportation difficult. Some areas of the city are crowded with displaced persons.”
Kathmandu and Lukla airports are open, but aftershocks and bad weather could close them temporarily at any time. Travelers should contact their airline before departing for the airport, as there are major air traffic issues due to relief flights and altered schedules.
For travelers still in Nepal and seeking a way out, the State Department recommends checking the media, or heading over to their Nepal Crisis Page for leads. There are other options as well at the State Department travel warning page for Nepal.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also issued a travel warning for Nepal. Their warning speaks to the country’s expanding issues with disease and sanitation: “Significant infrastructure damage has caused problems with clean water, sanitation, food supply, electricity, transportation, shelter, and medical care. The monsoon season in Nepal is approaching, and heavy rainfall and flooding may further increase the spread of foodborne and waterborne diseases, as well as diseases spread by mosquitoes.”
The CDC sums it up succinctly: “If you plan to travel to Nepal in the near future, consider postponing your plans.”
More by Michael Isenbek
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