The U.S. embassy in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince told American citizens to remain inside until further notice Sunday as the city continues to be gripped by violent protests, FOX News reports.
Alert: US Embassy Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Location: Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Event: Due to continuing demonstrations, roadblocks, and violence across Port-au-Prince and throughout Haiti, U.S. citizens should continue to shelter in place. Do not travel to the airport unless you confirmed your flight is departing. Flights are cancelled today and the airport has limited food and water available.
Telecommunications services, including Internet and phone lines, have been affected throughout Haiti. It may be difficult to reach people through normal communication methods.
U.S. Embassy personnel are still under a shelter-in-place order. The embassy will continue to monitor the situation.
The U.S. Embassy will be closed for routine services Monday July 9. Non-emergency appointments will be rescheduled for a later date. The Embassy remains open for emergency U.S. citizen services.
Actions to take:
– Shelter in place. Do not attempt to travel at this time.
– Avoid protests and any large gathering of people.
– Do not attempt to drive through roadblocks.
– If you encounter a roadblock, turn around and get to a safe area.
— Let family and friends know if you are safe.
– State Department – Consular Affairs: 1-888-407-4747 from the United States or 1-202-501-4444 internationally
FOX News reports that at least three people have been killed, including two protesters who were fatally shot by authorities and a security guard who was beaten to death by demonstrators after attempting to disperse a crowd by firing his gun into the air.
An estimated 120 Americans are believed to be staying at a Port-au-Prince hotel targeted by protesters, who attempted to bypass security and set the building ablaze. Youth groups and missionaries from an array of U.S churches are also stranded in the Caribbean nation, unable to make it safely to the airport for departure.
The Haitian government on Saturday halted a planned fuel price hike after tension and fighting escalated late last week. Haiti Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant had previously declared that fuel prices needed to be raised to balance the budget and announced a 38 percent increase for gasoline, diesel and kerosene. Despite the Lafontant government’s concession to public pressure, the anger and remains.
A source on the ground in Haiti described the situation as “on fire” and only getting worse, with more major demonstrations expected Sunday in the wealthy enclave of Pétion-Ville, south-east of the capital city.
“Government vehicles are moving to high ground, we have been told to initiate total lockdown measures immediately,” the source added. “We have to see what develops.”