2/27/2010

AIT Warden Message: Tsunami Warnings

Warden Message

February 27, 2010

Dear Warden and/or Registrant:

A massive magnitude earthquake rocked Chile early Saturday, triggering tsunami warnings for the entire Pacific basin. A tsunami is a series of long ocean waves. Each individual wave crest can last 5 to 15 minutes or more and extensively flood coastal areas. The danger can continue for many hours after the initial wave as subsequent waves arrive. Tsunami wave heights cannot be predicted and the first wave may not be the largest. All shores are at risk no matter which direction they face. Extremely strong and unusual currents can accompany a tsunami. Debris picked up and carried by a tsunami amplifies its destructive power. Simultaneous high tides or high surge can significantly increase the tsunami hazard.

Americans living near or visiting the coastal areas in the Pacific basin should monitor tsunami warnings on http://www.prh.noaa.gov/ptwc/ and www.cnn.com, as well as local news sources.

For additional information on natural disasters and emergencies and steps you should take to prepare, please see the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs website for several useful links related to natural disasters and emergencies:http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies

Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State's, Bureau of Consular Affairs' website www.travel.state.gov , where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information can be found. AIT also encourages U.S. citizens to review to "A Safe Trip Abroad," found athttp://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/safety/safety_1747.html , which includes valuable security information for those both living and traveling abroad. In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.
AIT encourages you, as an American living or traveling in Taiwan, to register through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/ Registration is a voluntary way of telling us that you, as an American citizen, are in Taiwan, whether for a long-term stay or for a short visit. In the event of an emergency, we use registration information to communicate with you. This could include a family emergency in which relatives in the United States request that AIT contact you.
The Consular Section of AIT's Taipei and Kaohsiung Offices can be reached during regular business hours (M-F, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) by telephone at (02) 2162-2000 and (07) 238-7744; by fax at (02) 2162-2239 and (07) 238-5237; and by e-mail at amcit-ait-t@state.gov. After hours, in case of emergency, a duty officer can be reached by calling the AIT switchboard at (02) 2162-2000. The AIT Taipei office is located at No.7, Lane 134, Sec. 3, XinYi Rd., Da-an District, Taipei City 10659. The address for AIT Kaohsiung is: 5th Floor, No.2, ChungCheng 3rd Rd., Xin-Xing District, Kaohsiung City 80052.