Friday, March 11, 2011

United States Government Warns U.S. Citizens About Traveling to Japan After Record Earthquake

Japan earthquakeThe whole word is reeling from the aftermath of the monster earthquake that shook Japan today. In the aftermath of the 8.9 quake, the Department of State has issued a nationwide alert to United States citizens to avoid traveling to Japan from now until April 1st. The State Department said in a statement that they "strongly urge U.S. citizens to avoid tourism and non-essential travel to Japan at this time."

The earthquake, which hit at 2:46 p.m., is the biggest one to hit Japan in nearly a century. The epicenter of the quake was offshore about 231 miles away from Tokyo and sparked fires in at least 80 different locations. This prompted the U.S. National Weather Service to issue tsunami warnings to at least 50 countries and territories.

Tokyo's Narita International Airport, which was closed, is currently trying to deal with over 13,000 backlogged passengers that were delayed as a result of the earthquake according to the Bloomberg News.

No planes are allowed to land at the Narita International Airport though nine planes are scheduled to leave. Public transportation, including trains and subways, are closed in the Tokyo area with services interrupted in other areas. Haneda Airport in Tokyo, which is the second busiest airport in Asia, resumed flights after an initial shutdown.

Between 200 and 300 people have been reported dead in the coastal city of Sendai according to the Kyodo News Agency of Japan. However, the death toll is estimated to rise as few casualty counts have come in from the worst-hit areas. The unfortunate thing is that due to the magnitude of this quake strong aftershocks are likely to occur for weeks.

The U.S. government is telling all U.S. citizens in Japan to contact family and friends in the United States to confirm their well-being as soon as possible by any means at their disposal including social media like Facebook and Twitter.

U.S. citizens can also contact the Department of State at and are also urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program online or in person at the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulates.

Source: AOL Travel - U.S. Issues Alert about Traveling to Japan after Earthquake is news of, for and by SMBs! The Small & Medium Business Magazine!

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