Wednesday, 30 March 2005 12:00 AM
Following the earthquake off the coast of Western Sumatra on Monday March 28, the Foreign Office has issued revised travel advice for the affected countries.
Below is a roundup of the revised advice along with updates to the advice given following December’s tsunami disaster.
For more general and detailed travel advice about the countries below please see the Foreign Office website.
The Asian earthquake on March 28 caused a number of casualties, mainly on Nias Island, off the coast of Western Sumatra.
As a result of December’s tsunami, the Foreign Office is advising tourists to avoid the west and north coasts of Aceh. This is in addition to general advice against travel in Aceh due to security concerns.
The Indian authorities issued a tsunami warning on March 28 following the Asian earthquake, but later withdrew it.
December’s tsunami affected the south east of India with the Tamil Nadu coast, the Andhra Pradesh coast, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands worst hit. There is extensive damage to buildings and other infrastructure in these areas and a risk of disease. Tourists are advised to check with their accommodation/travel agents before they travel.
Other parts of India, including most of Kerala, are not affected.
The Asian earthquake on March 28 was widely felt in Thailand, but according to the Foreign Office caused little damage and no direct casualties.
Most areas hit by December’s tsunami are now operating normally. Some larger resorts on the coast of Khao Lak and Phi Phi island are open, but many houses, shops, hotels and tourist accommodation were destroyed. The Foreign Office is advising people to check with travel agents before traveling to any of these areas.
The Sri Lankan authorities issued a tsunami warning following the Asian earthquake of March 28, but this was lifted on March 29 and there are no reports of casualties or structural damage.
December’s tsunami caused large-scale damage along the eastern, southern, and southwestern coastlines of Sri Lanka. The Foreign Office reports that a number of hotels in the south and southwest are now functioning as normal. It advises anyone planning to travel to affected areas to check with their tour operator or hotel before travelling. Hotels on the east coast in Trincomalee, Nilaveli, and Arugam Bay suffered major damage and remain closed, but there are no security reasons why travellers should not visit these areas.
Other parts of Sri Lanka, including the capital Colombo, were not affected by the tsunami.
Tremors lasting about 20 seconds were felt in the Maldives at the time of the Asian earthquake of March 28. The Foreign Office has no reports of casualties.
Nineteen resort islands were seriously damaged as a result of December’s tsunami, and those planning a holiday in the Maldives are advised to check with their tour operators before they proceed.