The State Department scrambled to begin the evacuation today of thousands of Americans stuck in Egypt, urging U.S. citizens to consider leaving the country as soon as it is safe to do so.
“The evacuations will be to a safe haven in Europe,” though destinations have yet to be worked out, said John Echard, a State Department spokesman.
There are reportedly 52,000 U.S. citizens registered with the embassy in Cairo, according to the State Department, though officials cautioned that not everyone registers or unregisters with them. The U.S. said it will continue the evacuations as long as there are people needing to leave.
Already, U.S. airlines, such as Delta, began indefinitely canceling all its flights to and from Cairo yesterday.
With sporadic cell phone and Internet service in Egypt, Americans are finding it difficult to contact loved ones stuck abroad, caught in the country’s violent demonstrations.
Colleen Flynn, 41, a nursing recruiter from Manhattan, said she has not been able to communicate with her colleague, Laura Siew, of Queens, who left for Egypt on Wednesday.
Flynn said she’s trying not to worry about Siew by focusing on the fact that her friend is witnessing something momentous.
“Trying to overthrow a regime that’s been in power for 30 years, this is history,” Flynn said.