Travel Alert June 2018: Earthquake in Japan

At least four fatalities were reported; a minimum of 300 people were injured; and others are reported missing as a result of a major earthquake which rocked central Japan late in the evening yesterday, Sunday, June 17, 2018 and measured on the Richter scale as a magnitude of 5.5 — although some reports claim that the magnitude was as high as 6.1.

Travel Alert June 2018: Earthquake in Japan

The earthquake occurred 1.8 kilometers — or 1.1 miles — south southwest of Takatsuki in Japan.

According to the official Facebook Internet web site of Shinzō Abe — who is the current prime minister of Japan:

To address the earthquake centered in northern Osaka Prefecture that struck this morning, I just held a meeting of the relevant ministers. Many households in the disaster area are unable to access city gas and water supplies, and evacuation shelters have been set up.

In addition to providing water through the assistance of the Self-Defense Forces, we will make every possible effort to restore lifeline infrastructure as early as possible, including by requesting cooperation from gas providers nationwide in order to get a force of 1,000 gas professionals working to restore the area’s gas lines. We will also take the initiative to address the situation proactively, drawing together the strength of all relevant ministries and agencies to assess reliably the needs in the disaster area, such as ensuring the safety of schools and other infrastructure.

Other reports via Twitter document some of the damage:

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to or from Osaka or elsewhere in the region over the next few days, expect possible delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to these earthquakes which may adversely affect your travel plans — especially due to aftershocks.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary. If you are driving in any of the affected areas, watch out for traffic problems due to crumbled infrastructure — some bridges and highways were closed as a precautionary measure — although travel by train seems to be unaffected.

Here are five airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of the earthquake:

  • Delta Air Lines has issued a travel alert for Osaka for Monday, June 18, 2018 through Tuesday, June 19, 2018; and Sunday, June 24, 2018 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • United Airlines has issued a travel alert for Osaka for Monday, June 18, 2018 through Tuesday, June 19, 2018; and Sunday, June 24, 2018 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Cathay Pacific Airways has issued a travel alert for Osaka for Monday, June 18, 2018 through Saturday, June 30, 2018; and Wednesday, July 14, 2018 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Air Canada has issued a travel alert for Osaka for Monday, June 18, 2018 through Tuesday, June 19, 2018; and Sunday, June 24, 2018 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Japan Airlines is offering travel waivers to and from Osaka and other regional airports on a per-flight basis.

Summary

Although Kansai International Airport appears to be open for business as usual, more airlines could issue travel waivers if they serve Osaka as a result of this latest earthquake — and if they do, I intend to update you with the latest details.

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Osaka.

Source: The United States Geological Survey.

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