The Philippine Embassy in Jordan has issued a warning for Filipinos against traveling to the city of Aqaba in Jordan due to reported threats of terrorist attacks in the area. In an advisory posted on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy advised Filipinos to postpone all personal and non-essential travel to Aqaba in the next 24 hours in the light of the security situation in the area. The travel ban came after several embassies in Jordan, including the American and Japanese embassies, issued travel advisories to their citizens citing a “possible imminent threat" in Aqaba Aqaba is a port town in southern Jordan at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba, which is Jordan’s only access to the Red Sea. The city is thus strategically important as it is Jordan’s only seaport. A separate advisory from the Embassy on Wednesday also reminded Filipinos residing in Aqaba to exercise caution on September 16 and 17. It advised Filipinos to avoid the port and other crowded areas, remain at home whenever possible and exercise caution when outside their homes.
The Embassy also said that it opened its mobile number (+962 77 743 5435) in case of queries or other information. The advisory was also relayed to the Filipino community leaders in Jordan through text messaging, requesting them to pass the message on to other Filipinos in the country. Two Soviet-type Grad missiles had hit a five-star hotel in Aqaba on August 2, resulting in the death of one civilian, according to reports. The attack was believed to have been launched from outside the country. The Jordanian government, however, has said that security situation in the country is stable and that there are no threats recorded in the entire country, including Aqaba. Government records show that as of December 2008, there were over 24,000 Filipinos working and residing in Jordan.—Jerrie M. Abella/JV, GMANews.TV