Thursday, 4 July 2013

Australia updates travel advisory for India after Uttarakhand floods (This article was published on June 20, 2013 in The Hindu)


MELBOURNE, JUNE 20:  
Australia has updated its travel advisory for India following recent severe weather conditions in Uttrakhand, asking its citizens to monitor the media for information and follow the advice of local authorities.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) revised the advisory on Tuesday saying, “It contains new information under natural disasters, severe weather and climate.”
“There are reports of landslides between Uttarkashi and Gangotri. If you are in the affected area, monitor media for information on your safety and follow the advice of local authorities),” it said.
Under natural disasters, severe weather and climate, it mentioned that annual monsoon rains from June to October can cause extensive flooding and landslides, particularly in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
“In the past, floods have affected millions of people, resulting in many deaths. During these periods, fresh drinking water and food can be in short supply. The high risk of contracting a water-borne disease continues after the water recedes. Transport and communication infrastructure can also be affected.
“If you are travelling during the monsoon season, you should contact your tour operators to check whether tourist services at your planned destination have been affected,” it said.
Overall, the advisory was left at same with the DFAT advising exercising a high degree of caution in India due to risk of terrorism, civil unrest, crime and vehicle accidents.
“We continue to advise Australians to exercise a high degree of caution in India overall because of the risk of terrorism, civil unrest, crime and vehicle accidents,” the advisory on Smart Traveller Web site noted.
It kept the advisory same as to exercise a high degree of caution in the Ladakh region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and to reconsider need to travel to the cities of Jammu and Srinagar due to frequent armed clashes, terrorist activities and violent demonstrations.
“We advise you not to travel in the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan, other than at the international border crossing at Atari-Wagah.”