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World Travel Watch

Strikes, nature put up barriers

Email|Print| Text size + By Larry Habegger and James O'Reilly
Globe Correspondents / July 18, 2004

Costa Rica: An air traffic controllers strike may be broken by firing all who have walked off the job once the strikes are declared illegal. Flights are operating normally around the country because foreign air traffic controllers are staffing the control towers and radar at the national airports. Meanwhile, the Arenal volcano, about 90 miles north of San Jose, erupted July 6 and is threatening to do so again. Authorities have prepared evacuation orders for residents.

India: The most destructive monsoon in many years has flooded vast areas of northeastern India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, leaving more than 5 million people homeless. In Assam state alone, some 2 million people have lost their homes. More rain is forecast and all of the main rivers in Assam may overflow.

Ireland: A series of transit strikes planned for July, August, and September could cause big disruptions in the Dublin area. Bus and rail services may be shut down if the strikes go on as planned this Tuesday; Aug. 4, 24, and 25; and Sept. 7-9.

Laos: Several bombings in the last year in Vientiane and other cities and armed attacks on Routes 13 and 7 earlier this year have made travel in Laos potentially dangerous. Travelers should remain alert in public places. In the past the government has shut down telecommunications and all travel on main roads for several days after such attacks.

Netherlands: The Netherlands is under heightened security alert because of information obtained by the Dutch secret service that Islamic extremists may be preparing terrorist attacks.

Because conditions can change overnight, always make your own inquiries before you leave home. In the United States, contact the State Department by phone (888-407-4747; 317-472-2328; 202-647-5225), fax (202-647-3000), or website (http://travel.state.gov); abroad, check in with the nearest US embassy or consulate.

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