Emergencies Abroad

Archive of Past News and Announcements

This page contains archived information. See current News and Announcements.

Earthquake in Nepal: 4/27/15

The University of Minnesota is closely monitoring the aftermath of the earthquake that struck the region between Kathmandu and Pokhara in Nepal on Saturday, April 25, around noon local time. All University travelers (students, staff, and faculty) are safe and accounted for. The University is in close communication with the travelers and our partners in Nepal.

On Saturday, April 25, the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal, sent an Emergency Message regarding the earthquake, followed by a subsequent message regarding the aftershocks on Sunday, April 26. As all University students are registered with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which facilitates the delivery of the security messages to each traveler, they received the emergency messages directly.

Please visit the Learning Abroad Center's News and Events webpage for further information on any impacts on the Spring 2015 Ecological Services & Biodiversity in Community Forests in Sauraha, Nepal, sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.

Drawing upon data from University security information services, insurance providers, the U.S. Department of State, on-site staff and partners, and peer institutions that support study abroad programming in Nepal, all non-student University travelers currently plan to continue their academic endeavors in Nepal, and the University does not plan to withdraw travelers from the region at this time.

Providing Support to Nepal

The University of Minnesota provides the following resource as a service to our students, staff, and faculty who have an interest in providing assistance in Nepal following the terrible earthquake on April 25, 2015. There are many options available, and this list is a sample of options. Inclusion in this list does not indicate endorsement, as the organizations have not been officially reviewed nor approved by the University.

The University strongly encourages financial or tangible item donations over travel to the region, which is still in recovery. Please read this article if you are considering travel to Nepal.

Security Situation in Kenya: 4/3/15

The University of Minnesota is closely monitoring the security situation in Kenya. All University travelers are safe and accounted for. The University is in close communication with the travelers and our partners in Kenya. All travelers currently plan to continue their academic endeavors.

On Thursday, April 2, the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi sent an Emergency Message regarding a reported attack by Al-Shabab gunmen at Moi University at the Garissa campus in northeast Kenya. Garissa is in a remote part of Kenya, far from where any University students, faculty or staff are located.  

Additionally, the University has long prohibited student travel to the northeastern province of Kenya, which includes Garissa, and students who violate the policy risk expulsion from the program.  Please visit the Learning Abroad Center News and Events webpage for further information on any impacts on the Learning Abroad Center MSID program in Kenya.

University travelers have been advised to heed the warnings in the Emergency Message, which states “U.S. citizens are urged to avoid any travel in the Garissa area. U.S. citizens throughout Kenya are encouraged to remain vigilant, review their own personal security measures, and stay tuned to local media reports for the latest information on the situation.”

All University students are registered with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which facilitates the delivery of the security messages to each traveler.

Drawing upon data from University security information services, insurance providers, the U.S. Department of State, on-site staff and partners, and peer institutions that support study abroad programming in Kenya, the University currently plans to continue its programs in Kenya and does not plan to withdraw travelers from the region at this time.

Security Situation in France: 1/9/15

The University of Minnesota is closely monitoring the security situation in France and possible impacts on our students, faculty, and staff in country. All University travelers are safe and accounted for. The University is in close communication with the travelers and our partners in France. All travelers currently plan to continue their academic endeavors.

On Wednesday, January 7, the U.S. Embassy in Paris issued a security message to U.S. citizens regarding the elevated the threat level for the Paris region by the Government of France in response to the attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French newspaper, in the 11th district of Paris. The French President has characterized the attack as a terrorist incident.

On Friday, January 9, the U.S. Embassy issued a second security message regarding two separate hostage situations that have been reported in Paris the afternoon of Friday, January 9 (local time), both in response to the attack and to the January 8 shooting of a policewoman in Paris. French Authorities cornered the two gunmen who are believed to be responsible for the January 7 attack in an industrial building northeast of Charles de Gaulle Airport (LFPG/CDG), approximately 15 mi/25 km northeast of Paris. More information on the changing situation available at Associated Press, BBC, and Reuters.

University travelers have been advised to monitor local media to stay alert for warnings and heed the warnings of the U.S. embassy and Department of State, which states “We strongly encourage U.S. citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security. U.S. citizens are encouraged to monitor media and the French government’s Ministry of Interior website, which is in French, for the latest information on security conditions.” University policy requires students to register with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which facilitates the delivery of the security messages to each traveler.

Drawing upon data from University security information services, insurance providers, the U.S. Department of State, on-site staff and partners, and peer institutions that support study abroad programming in France, the University currently plans to continue its programs in France and does not plan to withdraw travelers from the region at this time.

The situation is evolving and may change quickly. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and we urge travelers to carefully consider program or travel plans, paperwork, orientations, communications, emergency planning, 24-7 communications, protocols, etc. to assure that we are well prepared and ready to respond if necessary.

Update on the Ebola Outbreak: 10/7/2014

The GPS Alliance, in coordination with the Academic Health Center Office of Emergency Response (AHC-OER), continues to closely monitor the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and possible impacts on our students, faculty, and staff.

On September 30, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first case of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) to be diagnosed in the U.S. in a person who had traveled to Dallas, Texas from West Africa.  On October 6, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a statement noting that Spanish authorities have notified them that a health care worker in Spain has been diagnosed with EVD after treating an infected person who was medically evacuated from Liberia to Madrid on September 22, 2014, where he died on September 25.

Both patients are in stable condition. The CDC and WHO continue to work with local health officials to ensure the infected individuals receive appropriate treatment, identify others who had contact with the infected individuals, and monitor or isolate potential impacted persons. University activities in Spain continue without impact.

Accordingly, the Obama Administration released a press release regarding the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and domestically, including increased passenger screening for outbound passengers from West Africa and additional measures upon arrival in the U.S.  

The WHO and CDC both continue to report that the likelihood of contracting Ebola is extremely low unless a person has direct contact with the body fluids of a person or animal that is infected and showing symptoms.

University of Minnesota Resources

External Resources

Update on Ebola Outbreak in West Africa: 9/2/14

The GPS Alliance, in coordination with the Academic Health Center Office of Emergency Response (AHC-OER), continues to closely monitor the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and possible impacts on our students, faculty, and staff.

On August 29, the U.S. Embassy in Senegal released a Security Message for U.S. citizens regarding the first confirmed case of the Ebola virus in Senegal. University partners in Senegal report that local authorities have indicated the individual is in stable condition and is unlikely to have infected others. The case has not impacted University travelers in Senegal.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recently released guidance to colleges and universities regarding the outbreak. The University remains in close communication with travelers and our partners in West Africa.

All University travelers are continued to be advised to follow the CDC, WHO, and USDOS advice regarding travel to and from the region.

Update on Ebola Outbreak in West Africa: 8/11/14

GPS Alliance, in coordination with the Academic Health Center Office of Emergency Response (AHC-OER), continues to closely monitoring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and possible impacts on our students, faculty, and staff.

On August 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their Travel Health Notices regarding the Ebola outbreak for GuineaLiberia, and Sierra Leone to a Level 3 Warning (which urges travelers to avoid nonessential travel to these countries) and for Nigeria to a Level 2 Alert (which urges travelers to practice enhanced precautions in country).

On August 7, the U.S. Department of State followed suite by issuing a travel warning for Liberia ordering the departure of family members residing with Embassy staff. The U.S. Embassies in GuineaLiberiaSierra Leone, and Nigeria have also issued Security Messages for U.S. Citizens regarding the outbreak, which are received by impacted travelers directly via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). The University has no travelers currently in the four affected countries and has prohibited student travel to these countries. Any student wishing to travel to these countries must apply to the University's International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC).

The University does have travelers in other West African countries such as Ghana and Senegal where there are currently no reported cases of Ebola. The U.S. Embassies in Senegal issued a Security Message for U.S. citizens in country on August 8. The University is in close communication the travelers and our partners in West Africa.

There are no confirmed cases of Ebola in Minnesota at this time and only two confirmed cases in the U.S. (both became ill abroad and were brought back to the U.S. for treatment). The World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC both report that the likelihood of contracting Ebola is extremely low unless a person has direct contact with the body fluids of a person or animal that is infected and showing symptoms.

The University has communicated with incoming international students who may be traveling from West Africa to confirm flights directly with the airline as some airlines have suspended service or implemented new screening protocols prior to boarding. The CDC recommends that travelers delay travel until they are well in order to reduce the risk of being denied boarding. Furthermore, the International Air Travel Association (IATA) issued a release stating the likelihood of transmission of Ebola from passenger to passenger in an aircraft is also unlikely.

Additional Resources:

Ebola Outbreak in West Africa: 8/1/14

The University of Minnesota is closely monitoring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and possible impacts on our students, faculty, and staff in country. All University travelers report they are unaffected by the outbreak thus far and will continue their academic endeavors. The University is in close communication with the travelers and our partners in West Africa.

On July 31, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) raised their Travel Health Notices regarding the Ebola outbreak to a Level 3 Warning for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, which urges U.S. residents to avoid nonessential travel to all three countries. Liberia and Sierra Leone declared public health emergencies on July 30 and 31, respectively. 

Additionally, a dual U.S.-Liberian citizen has been confirmed to have died from Ebola on July 25 upon arriving in Nigeria after traveling through Ghana and Togo. The U.S. Embassy in Nigeria released a Security Message for U.S. Citizens in response.

The U.S. Embassies in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have also issued Security Messages for U.S. Citizens regarding the outbreak, which all University travelers receive directly via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). The U.S. Department of State has not issued a Travel Warning or Alert for the three countries (nor updated the existing Travel Warning for Nigeria issued on May 6).

Drawing upon data from the CDC, WHO, U.S. Department of State, University experts and security information services, insurance providers, and on-site staff and partners, the University of Minnesota does not plan to withdraw students from the region at this time. The University will support students who wish to return to the U.S. or relocate to continue their academic activities due to concerns regarding the Ebola outbreak.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and we urge travelers to carefully consider program or travel plans, paperwork, orientations, communications, emergency planning, 24-7 communications, protocols, etc. to assure that we are well prepared and ready to respond if necessary.

Security Situation in Israel: 7/16/14

The University of Minnesota is closely monitoring the security situation in Israel and possible impacts on our students, faculty, and staff in country. All University travelers are safe and accounted for. The University is in close communication with the travelers and our partners in Israel. All travelers report relative calm and an ability to continue their academic endeavors.

There have been violent confrontations in Israel as well as the exchange of rocket fire. Israel's Iron Dome Defense System has intercepted numerous rockets fired toward Tel Aviv, Haifa, Be'er Sheva, and other locations in Israel. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) launched Operation Protective Edge on July 7 and have attacked numerous targets in Gaza. Conflict in this region is ongoing. Starting July 4, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Consulate in Jerusalem have issued security messages on demonstrations and clashes in Jerusalem, as well as the exchange of rocket fire, which all University travelers receive directly.

Cross-border rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and retaliatory Israeli airstrikes have continued following the failure of an Egyptian-backed ceasefire. The Israeli cabinet had agreed in principle to the plan and temporarily ceased airstrikes; however, Hamas militants continued to fire rockets and other projectiles into Israeli territory, prompting renewed airstrikes.

In Tel Aviv, businesses are continuing to operate despite the threat of rocket fire. Flight delays are possible at Ben-Gurion (TLV), Eilat (ETH), and SdeDov (SDV) airports. Rail service might be slow. Additional transport disruptions, including road closures, are possible. Road closures are particularly likely near Ashkelon. Operations have been suspended at the Port of Ashdod. Land crossings between Israel and Jordan remain open.

Note that University policy requires students traveling to countries under a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning (including Israel) to seek permission from the University’s International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC). In accordance with this procedure, students traveling to Israel are not allowed to travel to Gaza or the West Bank and are required to register with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which facilitates the delivery of the security messages to each traveler.

Drawing upon data from University security information services, insurance providers, the U.S. Department of State, on-site staff and partners, and peer institutions that support study abroad programming in Israel, the University currently does not plan to mandate evacuation from the country at this time; however, the University will support students who wish to return to the U.S. or relocate to continue their academic activities.  

The situation is evolving and may change quickly. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and we urge travelers to carefully consider program or travel plans, paperwork, orientations, communications, emergency planning, 24-7 communications, protocols, etc. to assure that we are well prepared and ready to respond if necessary.


GO SAFE iconProgram health and safety information
is available at GO SAFE.

News & Announcements