A passenger plane crashed in flames in Tokyo after colliding with a plane carrying aid to the earthquake-hit West Coast.
Japan has been hit by a series of powerful forces earthquakes Monday that left at least 48 people dead. Thousands of buildings were damaged by fires and landslides.
On Tuesday, just before 18:00 local time (10:00 CET), a Japan Airlines flight collided with a Japanese Coast Guard plane that was heading to Niigata Airport to deliver aid to the earthquake-hit area. The passenger plane landed in flames on the runway at Tokyo’s Haneda airport.
All 379 passengers and crew on board have been evacuated, according to Japan Airlines, but Japanese broadcaster NHK reports that five out of six people on the coast guard plane remain missing.
Tsunami warning lifted in Japan
A severe tsunami warning has been issued for Ishikawa Prefecture, on Japan’s central-west coast. Lower-level tsunami warnings or warnings for the rest of the western coast of the main island of Honshu, as well as the northern island of Hokkaido, Monday afternoon.
The warning was downgraded several hours later, and all tsunami warnings were lifted early Tuesday, but those living in coastal areas were advised not to return home just yet. Waves measuring more than a meter hit some places.
High-speed trains in the region were stopped, but service was largely restored Tuesday afternoon. Some stretches of highways were closed and some flights were suspended.
Water, electricity and cell phone service were still down in some areas Tuesday.
The country remains on alert for further earthquakes.
What is the current travel advice for Japan?
The UK Foreign Office has warned that further aftershocks remain possible and transport links will be disrupted.
Travelers to affected areas are advised to follow local authorities’ instructions and check NHK world newsTHE Japan Meteorological Agency and the Japan National Tourism Agency for the latest information.
Which areas are affected by earthquakes in Japan?
Affected areas include the Sea of Japan coast at: Ishikawa, Yamagata, Niigata, Toyama, Fukui, Hyogo, Hokkaidoprefectures of Aomori, Akita, Kyoto, Tottori and Shimane, as well as the islands of Iki and Tsushima.
The tremors began near the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture in western Japan on New Year’s Day.
The region includes tourist places famous for lacquerware and other traditional crafts, along with designated cultural heritage sites.
What to do if an earthquake occurs?
Japan is often hit by earthquakes because of its location along the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific basin.
When a earthquake blows, the Japan National Tourism Agency recommends protecting your head with a bag or hard object. If you are in your hotel or accommodation, take shelter under a sturdy table. Alternatively, stay safe in an open space or near a sturdy pillar that is not exposed to falling objects.
Once the shaking has stopped, look for the nearest exit and follow the staff’s instructions. Avoid using elevators. If you are inside an elevator at the time of earthquakepress all floor buttons and get off wherever the elevator stops, if it is safe to do so.
What to do if a tsunami warning is issued?
If a tsunami a warning is issued, waves of up to one meter are possible. Do not enter the ocean or rivers, stay away from ports, return to your accommodation and pay attention to updates.
A tsunami The tsunami warning carries the greatest risk of waves up to three meters high, while a major tsunami warning could see waves of between five and 10 metres. The waves are expected to hit repeatedly.
In the event of an alert, you should observe the actions of those around you and evacuate to higher ground or a tsunami shelter.
Monday tsunami The warning was the most serious since a strong earthquake and tsunami hit the country’s northeast in March 2011, killing 18,000 people.