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Hong Kong adds 'Yolanda', Zamboanga siege to black warning

A poster of the Hong Kong Security Bureau

MANILA, Philippines - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government updated its "black" travel warning against the Philippines, citing new security risks due to Super-typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and other recent incidents.

The bureau defined a "black" alert as having a "severe threat" and that travelers have to "avoid all travel" to the Southeast Asian nation. Besides the Philippines, only Syria and Egypt  have been issued the highest alert to Hong Kong travelers due to the ongoing civilian unrest in the two countries.

"Food and water shortages, deteriorating hygienic conditions, electricity outages and poor communications were reported in the affected area," the agency said in a December update to the black alert.

The outstanding travel alert started after the August 2010 hostage crisis in Manila where eight tourists from Hong Kong were held hostage and killed by a disgruntled former police officer.

The Hong Kong Security Bureau said that the Philippine government has declared a national state of calamity following the calamitous effects of the record weather event in November.

In its renewal of the travel warning, Hong Kong also cited the clash between government forces and militants in Zamboanga last September that paralyzed the region's bustling capital and shut down its airport.

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Travelers were also warned against the car bomb explosion in Cotabato last August and a US Embassy-issued "credible kidnap threat against foreigners" in Mindanao last May.

Related: Philippines gives first compensation to Hong Kong bus hostage victim

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