FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, March 11, 2011
Peace Corps Update on Pacific Tsunami Warning
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 11, 2011—The Peace Corps has programs in the following countries that are in the vicinity of the tsunami triggered by the large earthquake in Japan on March 11, 2011.
Pacific Islands: Fiji, Micronesia, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu
Asia: Indonesia, Philippines
Countries with Pacific coastlines: Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru
Peace Corps posts are in communication with volunteers in affected areas and have taken steps to ensure that Volunteers are safe, and removed from potentially dangerous areas. Peace Corps Washington is in regular communication with Peace Corps staff overseas, and will continue to monitor the situation until all tsunami warnings are lifted.
In preparation for possible natural disasters, each Peace Corps program has an Emergency Action Plan specific to that country and developed in cooperation with Peace Corps Washington and the local U.S. Embassy. The plans are evaluated and tested frequently and information is updated constantly. Volunteers are thoroughly trained in their roles and responsibilities, and Posts are prepared for all emergencies.
Families are encouraged to contact Peace Corps Counseling and Outreach Unit with any questions or concerns they may have. The Counseling and Outreach Unit maintains a 24-hour, 7 days a week duty system. The telephone number during standard office hours is (800) 424-8580, extension 1470; the after-hours number is (202) 692-1470.
About the Peace Corps: President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, by executive order. Throughout 2011, Peace Corps is commemorating 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world. Historically, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Today, 8,655 volunteers are working with local communities in 77 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.
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