Travel alert issued for China’s quake-stricken region

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The U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert urging Americans to defer travel to China’s Sichuan province in the aftermath of the 7.9 magnitude earthquake that struck the region on May 12.

The government agency issued the alert in light of “rescue and relief operations, damage to infrastructure throughout the area and the continuing potential for aftershocks.”

According to the State Department, the airport in Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan province, is open. However, scheduling flights, particularly outbound, remains difficult. Additionally, the airport in Jiuzhaigou, which is close to the earthquake’s epicenter, is closed for all but emergency services.

Road conditions in the areas of impact are problematic, with many roads difficult to pass. The only rail service currently in operation in the region is from Chengdu to Shaanxi, the State Department reported.

The State Department’s travel alert expires on June 30.

China began three days of mourning on Monday for the more than 50,000 people thus far estimated to have died due to the quake.

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