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Phuket travelers heading for Japan advised to continue to Bangkok

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PHUKET: Following the devastating series of earthquakes and the tsunami that struck Japan’s main island of Honshu earlier today, travelers heading from Phuket to Japan are advised to at least continue their journey to Bangkok, an officer at Phuket International Airport told the Phuket Gazette this afternoon.

“All flights [from Phuket] to Bangkok are continuing as scheduled. There are no direct flights between Phuket and Japan [as was the case before the disaster],” the officer said.

“We are waiting further instructions from Narita [International Airport in Japan] on what to advise travelers heading to Japan,” she added.

Ryuji Iwasaki, public information officer at the Embassy of Japan in Bangkok, told the Gazette, “Narita International Airport is closed, but as far as I know Haneda Airport in downtown Tokyo is still open.

“We are monitoring the situation. So far we have had no requests from Japanese citizens,” he added.

The website of the US Air Force base at Yokota, Japan says that it has been receiving commercial flights diverted there from Narita.

“The 374th Airlift Wing is prepared and ready to assist during this time of crisis,” said Col Otto Feather, 374th Airlift Wing commander.

Reports of chaotic scenes are emerging from Tokyo as aftershocks continue to jolt the area.

“Every time an aftershock hits, the building sways – it’s making me feel sick,” Reiko Fukushima, who works on the 13th floor of a Tokyo office building, told the Gazette.

“I’m thinking about walking home – it will take about three to four hours – but it’s cold outside. From my office I can see many fires around the city.

“A lot of people are walking along the JR [elevated Japan Rail lines] tracks, maybe I’ll do that,” she added.

According to posters on The Wall Street Journal‘s “Japan Realtime” blog, traffic has ground to a halt and all train services are suspended in the Tokyo area and northern Honshu.

 

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