The Korea Herald


Chinese people cancel planned travels to Japan's quake-hit areas

By KH디지털2

Published : April 17, 2016 - 16:07

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A growing number of Chinese people are canceling their planned travels to Japan's earthquake-hit areas, as China's tour industry and the Hong Kong government have issued a travel warning for Kumamoto Prefecture, which was hit by deadly earthquakes last week, China's media reported Sunday.

A 7.3-magnitude temblor hit Kumamoto Prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu at around 1:25 a.m. Saturday, less than two days after a 6.5-magnitude quake struck the same region. The quakes killed 34 people and injured some 2,000 others, according to Japanese media.

In the wake of the quakes, the Hong Kong government issued a yellow travel warning, the lowest of the three-stage alert system, for the Kumamoto region, the South China Morning Post and other newspapers reported.

The Hong Kong government advised those who are planning to visit the region or are already staying there to be on alert and stay away from the quake-stricken area.

China's major tourist agencies have also suspended their tour programs to the disaster-battered Japanese areas for one month until May 16.

According to Chinese newspapers, a number of Chinese tour companies canceled their tour programs to Kumamoto Prefecture and the broader Kyushu area, and announced policies to refund customers.

Hong Kong Airlines also decided to allow passengers who have tickets for flights bound for Kumamoto this month to change their destinations, according to the Chinese media.

Joseph Tung, an official at Hong Kong's Travel Industry Council, was quoted as saying that about 400 Hong Kong people are staying in the Kyushu area but none of them have been affected by the recent quakes.

Taiwan's airplanes and tour industry took similar preventive measures.

Taiwan's air carriers, including China Airlines, either canceled their flights to Kumamoto or allowed passengers to change their destinations, according to Taiwan's state-run Central News Agency.

Many Taiwanese travel agencies are now allowing customers who have booked tours for Kyushu to switch their destinations free of charge, according to the news agency.

China's press is closely following developments in Japan's quake-stricken area although no Chinese casualties have so far been reported. (Yonhap)