Wednesday, February 2, 2011

US Embassy Egypt: 1,900+ Evacuees Departed Cairo So Far

Via State Department: Status of U.S. Citizen Evacuations from Egypt | February 2, 2011:
The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens in Egypt remains one of the State Department’s top priorities. More than 1,900 U.S. citizens and their family members have been evacuated from Egypt in an operation that began on Monday, January 31.  We plan to continue evacuation efforts on Thursday, February 3, and are assessing the need to continue flights after that.  
We continue with our efforts to assist any U.S. citizens who wish to leave Egypt and are boarding additional flights today. As curfew has been eased by three hours, we expect more U.S. citizens will be able to reach the Cairo airport.
We advise U.S. citizens to avoid demonstrations and carefully proceed to the airport during non-curfew hours.  U.S. citizens with passports that expired within the past 10 years may go directly to the airport.  Persons with passports that expired more than 10 years ago, should go the Embassy to obtain a replacement.
Although non-emergency personnel at our Embassy are leaving Egypt under ordered departure status, the Department continues to send personnel into Cairo and to our safe haven locations to assist U.S. citizens.  The Embassy remains open for U.S. citizen services only during non-curfew hours. 
The most up-to-date information for U.S. citizens in Egypt can be found on our website Travel.State.Gov.  U.S. citizens in Egypt, or persons concerned for their U.S. citizen loved ones in Egypt also may contact the State Department by email at or telephone at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (outside the United States and Canada).

The number of evacuees is a lot less than we thought given that the American resident population is estimated at a low of 35,000 to upwards of 50,000.  Is this a slow surge or is there a wave down the road?

Speaking of evacuations -- here is something that we did not know. The State Department has ordered the departure of non-emergency personnel and families from US diplomatic missions nearly 300 times since 1988. 

The largest evacuations in recent memory are Haiti with about 16,000 U.S. citizens and their family members after the earthquake in 2010 and Lebanon with 15,000 citizens and family members evacuated via Cyprus in 2006.



hannah said...

I remember getting a list in A-100 of all authorized, ordered, and complete evacs that State's carried out since the late 1980s - I suspect the data was taken from the same list you cite. At that time (Sep `07) Haiti had the most, with GCC countries and Lebanon following closely behind. I wonder what the top ten would look like now?

Domani Spero said...

Thanks hannah! That list was started by retired Special Forces guy who worked at State Crisis Training in the late 80's. The list is unclassified but does not seem to be available anywhere outside the firewall. Crisis Evac page should have link to it in the intranet. From what I can recall several posts made repeat appearances on that list year after year.