U.S. Embassy in Haiti Warns Americans to ‘Shelter in Place’ Amid Violent Protests

The U.S. Embassy in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince issued a warning to American citizens to stay inside and not travel to the airport, as a result of violent demonstrations which erupted over high fuel prices.

“Due to continuing demonstrations, roadblocks and violence across Port-au-Prince and throughout Haiti, U.S. citizens should shelter in place,” the emergency notice states. “Do not travel to the airport unless you confirmed your flight is departing. Flights are canceled today and the airport has limited food and water available.”

The notice adds that due to protests communications methods have been affected and it may be more difficult to reach people through phone lines or other normal telecommunications services.

The embassy is continuing to monitor the situation in Haiti, where protests have erupted after the government hiked fuel prices.

“We express our deepest condolences to all those affected by this event. 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 embassy’s statement reads.

The embassy further called on people who are in the area to contact local authorities and stay in touch, if possible, with loved ones and added they were doing everything possible to help U.S. citizens affected by the crisis on the island.

The State Department also expressed its “deepest condolences” to all those affected by the ongoing violence.

Fuel prices recently increased sharply:  51 percent for kerosene, 47 percent for diesel and 38 percent for gasoline. Haitian Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant on Saturday announced a temporary halt to the price hike, after which the situation calmed, said Stacy Librandi Bourne, an emergency medical professional from HERO Client Rescue.

At least three people have been killed, including two protesters and a security guard who was beaten to death by demonstrators after attempting to disperse a crowd by firing his gun into the air, Fox News reports.

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