India: US Consulate in Chennai issues 'emergency message' for Americans
"Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security." Photograph: (Reuters)
With Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa said to be critical, the US Consulate in Chennai today issued an "emergency message" for American citizens, asking them to review their personal security plans and remain aware of the local events.
"US citizens are reminded that even gatherings intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations," the Consulate said in a message on its official website without any reference to any particular development.
"Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security," the message said.
Further, the Consulate General will operate with reduced staffing today, it announced, adding, it has "temporarily suspended appointments for routine services to US citizens and visa applicants."
"Applicants will be informed by email. The Consulate will provide updates when routine services are restored," it added.
Jayalalithaa, hospitalised since September 22, suffered a cardiac arrest last evening, prompting scores of party workers to throng Apollo Hospital where she has been admitted.