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Messages for U.S. Citizens in 2011

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Hurricane Rina

October 24, 2011

The U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa informs U.S. citizens in Honduras that a tropical storm watch is in effect for the coast of Honduras from Punta Castilla to the Nicaraguan border.  The center of the storm is expected to pass north of the northeastern coast of Honduras during the next couple of days.  The Embassy strongly encourages U.S. citizens in Honduras to closely monitor Hurricane Rina.  U.S. citizens should monitor local and international media reports, and follow the instructions of local emergency officials.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Hurricane Rina has maximum sustained winds near 75 mph as of 1400 EST.  Rina is moving toward the north-northwest at near 6 mph and a gradual turn toward the west is expected over the next 48 hours.  Rina is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 1 to 3 inches along the northeast coast of Honduras with isolated maximum amounts of 5 inches.  These rains could cause flash flooding and mud slides over mountainous terrain.

The Honduran Comisión Permanente de Contingencias (COPECO) has declared a Yellow Alert for the following eight departments: Bay Islands, Gracias a Dios, Colon, Atlántida, Olancho, Yoro, Choluteca, and Valle.  A Green Alert has been extended to the remaining 10 departments in Honduras.

In some areas, adequate shelter may not be available to all who choose to stay.  Visitors should review and follow their hotel or cruise ship evacuation plans.  U.S. citizens who plan to stay in their homes or hotels should make preparations in the event that communications, power, and transportation systems are affected.

Flights into and out of airports in Central America may be suspended as the storm approaches.  Travelers should contact airlines for the latest updates.  The storm could similarly affect access to ferries and cruise ships.

U.S. citizens should carry their travel documents at all times (e.g., U.S. passport, birth certificate, picture ID’s, etc.) or secure them in a safe, waterproof location.  We also suggest that American citizens contact friends and family in the United States with updates about their whereabouts.

For information from the Honduran Comisión Permanente de Contingencias (COPECO), including national alerts from the Honduran government, please visit: http://copeco.gob.hn/n/

For the most-up-to-date information, please visit the National Hurricane Center’s website: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

Further information on hurricanes and hurricane preparedness is available on the State Department’s website.  Also visit Consular Affairs’ website on "Natural Disasters".

The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov) provides accurate, frequently updated weather forecasts, the trajectory of storm systems, and other valuable information on changing weather patterns that might affect the area you live in or plan to visit in Honduras.

If you are going to live in or visit Honduras, please take the time to tell our Embassy about your trip.  If you sign up, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.  We can also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency.  Here’s the link to the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program: https://travelregistration.state.gov

U.S. citizens should consult the Country Specific Information for Honduras and the latest Travel Alerts and Warnings and Worldwide Caution at the State Department's website: http://travel.state.gov

Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States, or for callers outside the United States and Canada, 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).

The U.S. Embassy is located on Avenida La Paz in Tegucigalpa; telephone (504) 2238-5114, after hours telephone (504) 2236-8497; Consular Section fax (504) 2238-4357; E-mail: usahonduras@state.gov; Webpage: http://honduras.usembassy.gov

American Citizen Services at the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa is on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/acstegucigalpa