Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Earthquake Response Simulation

The U.S. Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica, informs U.S. citizens that on Thursday, September 3, the Costa Rican National Emergency Commission and the San Jose Municipal Emergency Committee will stage a citywide earthquake simulation in downtown San Jose.  The simulation is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. and conclude at 11:00 a.m.

The simulation will involve the actual evacuation of up to 60,000 people from approximately 90 buildings in downtown San Jose to established safe areas within the city.  During the simulation, civil protection sirens will sound and electronic billboards above highways will display emergency messages.

Road closures and large crowds are expected in the downtown San Jose area during the simulation.  The U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens to avoid the downtown San Jose area from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and to note that the scale of the exercise may result in residual disruptions to traffic and emergency services in the San Jose metropolitan area.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Costa Rica enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP) at www.Travel.State.Gov.  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for Costa Rica.  For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy/Consulate in San Jose is located at Av. O Calle 120, Rohrmoser. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy is 2519-2000.