SINGAPORE - Singaporeans should defer non-essential travel to several cities in Chile in the light of ongoing protests while those already there are advised to take precautions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Wednesday (Oct 23).
Antofagasta, Valparaiso, Valdivia, Chillan, Talca, Temuco, Punta Arenas and capital Santiago have been placed in a state of emergency and under a night curfew after riots broke out last Friday following anger and frustration over the high cost of living and metro fare hikes in the South American country.
The MFA advised Singaporeans who are currently in the affected areas to take necessary precautions to ensure their personal safety.
It also advised Singaporeans to stay vigilant, monitor developments through the local news and heed the instructions of the local authorities.
"Avoid reported locations of protests and stay indoors in a safe location. Do stay in touch with your family and friends so that they know you are safe," the MFA said.
It urged Singaporeans who are travelling to Chile to eRegister with the MFA.
Those who require consular assistance can call the 24-hour MFA duty office on 6379-8800 or 6379-8855 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
They can also get in touch with the honorary Consulate-General in Santiago on +56-2-2787-6034 or +65-6379-8000 (after hours), or e-mail email@example.com.
Thousands of people participated in demonstrations in Chile demanding an end to low wages and a high cost of living.
At least 15 people have died in protests that started over a hike in public transport costs, prompting a weekend of riots, arson attacks and looting of businesses, and the declaration of a state of emergency by President Sebastian Pinera over a large swathe of Chile.
Mr Pinera announced an ambitious raft of measures on Tuesday, aiming to quell protests against his government with a guaranteed minimum wage, a hike in the state pension offering and the stabilisation of electricity costs.