- The Washington Times - Monday, July 9, 2018

U.S. citizens in Haiti were told to shelter in place Sunday after a State Department alert warned of ongoing violence and protests in Port-au-Prince and the rest of the island.

“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,” the alert said.

Americans were warned to avoid traveling at all as roadblocks continued to create obstacles among the chaos and protests over the cost of fuel. Stranded citizens were also urged to contact family directly or through social media.

However, they were warned that internet and phone line service were affected across the island, so normal communication may be an issue.

“We express our deepest condolences to all those affected by this event,” the State Department said in a statement, “We are closely monitoring the situation and remain in close contact with Haitian authorities to verify the welfare and whereabouts of U.S. citizens in the area,”

The U.S. Embassy was closed over the weekend for non-emergency services, but reopened Monday.

Protests broke out in Port-au-Prince on Sunday in response to the Haitian governor’s plan to increase fuel prices. Gas prices were scheduled to surge by 38 percent, according to a CNN report. The protests turned to looting as some people erected roadblocks and charged money to those trying to access the airport.

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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