US citizens urged to defer travel plans to Japan

PTI Washington | Updated on March 19, 2011 Published on March 19, 2011

As the crisis at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant worsens, the United States has asked its citizens to defer their travel plans to Japan and those living inside the quake-stricken country to evacuate from within 80 kilometres of the damaged atomic plants.

“The State Department strongly urges US citizens to defer travel to Japan at this time and those in Japan should consider departing,” the State Department said in its latest travel advisory on Japan.

It also sanctioned voluntary authorised departure for its eligible family members because of infrastructure damage from the earthquake and resulting tsunami.

“The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recommends that US citizens, who live within 80 kilometres of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, evacuate the area or take shelter indoors if safe evacuation is not practical,” the State Department said.

“US citizens should defer all travel to the evacuation zone around Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami and tourism and non-essential travel to the rest of Japan at this time,” it said.

The State Department said commercial flights have resumed at all airports that were closed by the earthquake, except Sendai Airport, and commercial seats are available at the time of this posting.

In Tokyo, most public transportation including trains and subways are operating.

Many roads have been damaged in the Tokyo area and in northern Japan, particularly in the Miyagi prefecture where government checkpoints have been established on damaged roadways.

In Iwate prefecture, toll road highways are restricted to emergency vehicles only, it said.

Published on March 19, 2011
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