U.S. warns Mideast embassies to prepare for emergency evacuation

Monday, January 27, 2003

The United States has relayed a warning to its embassies around the world to prepare for immediate evacuation.

Officials said the department's warning was particularly meant for U.S. nationals in the Persian Gulf and Middle East. They include such countries as Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

The State Department told U.S. embassies that they should warn Americans living abroad to prepare for immediate evacuation in case of an attack or some other emergency. The department warned Americans abroad to prepare up-to-date documents and medicines so they can quickly leave for home.

The department asked all consulates and embassies worldwide to send a warden's message to local American communities with advice on preparedness for an emergency. The message would warn of such emergencies as political or economic unrest, natural disaster or a terrorist attack.

The department has intervened in helping American citizens escape from several hot spots around the world over the last year. They included Cote D'Ivoire, the Central African Republic, Indonesia, Israel and Venezuela.

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