US calls on Americans to leave Haiti amid worsening crisis
The U.S. government is urging U.S. citizens to leave Haiti because of the country’s deepening insecurity and a severe lack of fuel that has affected hospitals, schools and banks. Gas stations remained closed on Thursday.
The rare warning from the U.S. State Department comes as Haiti’s government and police are struggling to control gangs that have blocked fuel distribution terminals for several weeks.
“Widespread fuel shortages may limit essential services in an emergency, including access to banks, money transfers, urgent medical care, internet and telecommunications, and public and private transportation options,” the State Department warned on Wednesday.
“The U.S. Embassy is unlikely to be able to assist U.S. citizens in Haiti with departure if commercial options become unavailable.”
Canada also issued a similar warning on Wednesday: “If you’re in Haiti and your presence isn’t essential, consider leaving if you can do so safely.”