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08STATE52036 2008-05-15 22:16:00 UNCLASSIFIED Secretary of State
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1. (U) 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.

2. (U) 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.

3. (U) 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.

4. (U) 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.

5. (U) 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 html and

6. (U) 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.

7. (U) 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:
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: Embassy's website:

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

STATE 00052036 002 OF 002

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: Guangzhou adoptions Email:

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:

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

8. (U) Minimize considered.