US issues travel warning to its citizens in Nepal
Washington, DC: The US has warned its nationals against traveling to Nepal citing concern about recent incidents of violence in the earthquake-ravaged country which might affect its tourism sector.
“While the frequency and severity of aftershocks have greatly diminished, the possibility of earthquakes or aftershocks continues. The overall effect of the initial earthquake and its aftershocks varied greatly across the country,” the US State Department yesterday said in a travel advisory.
“Areas close to the epicenters suffered significant damage, while other areas in the country were nearly unaffected,” the advisory said.
A large number of people from the US travel to Nepal every year, mainly for adventure tourism in the mountains of the Himalayas. The April 25 earthquake and its aftershocks destabilized steep, mountainous areas, and severe landslides have occurred in some affected areas, it said.
Monsoon rains, which began in June and largely ended in September, may have further destabilized these areas, the State Department said adding that although trekking permits are being issued, not all trekking areas are safe for travel.
Many roads close to trekking areas are blocked and impassable. “We encourage travelers to consult carefully with their travel and trekking agencies for current, location-specific information and to heed warnings of potential danger,” the advisory said.
“These conditions affect the possibility of emergency assistance if needed. We recommend providing family or friends with a detailed itinerary prior to trekking. Do not trek alone,” the advisory recommended.
The State Department further said that sporadic demonstrations and civil unrest in the Terai region of Nepal may affect tourist travel to the southern region, including Chitwan National Park and Lumbini. Peaceful demonstrations can become violent, it said, adding curfews are in effect in some places.(PTI)