Translated by MATCHA_En
Kumamoto Earthquake: Information For Travelers Visiting Japan
Written by MATCHA
We have compiled a series of useful information for travelers and foreign residents who are now in the disaster affected Kyushu area.
On April 14th 2016, an earthquake with the magnitude of 7 degrees on the Japanese seismic scale has occurred in the Kumamoto prefecture, located in Japan's Kyushu region. Even today (April 19th), aftershocks can be felt in the region and the situation is still unstable.
In this article we have compiled a series of Multi-lingual Information Sources useful to travelers who are now in Kumamoto and in the Kyushu area.
Please use the information in this article to keep safe during your stay in Kyushu or to confirm the safety of your relatives or friends who are in Kyushu right now.
We will keep the information updated in all the languages covered by the MATCHA website. Please send us your requests regarding information related to the disaster on our SNS pages and official homepage.
Related article: Japanese Encyclopedia: Kyushu Region
The Kumamoto Earthquake - Present Situation (today, April 19th)
April 19th, present.
A series of large scale earthquakes with the epicenters in the Kumamoto and Oita prefectures hit the Kyushu region. At present, several transportation routes around Kyushu are closed, making it difficult for supplies to be carried in the affected areas.
Kyushu is located in the western part of Japan, being separated by several hundreds of kilometers from the Kantō region, where Tokyo is located, or from the Kansai region , where cities such as Kyotoand Osaka are located. At present, in the areas outside the Kyushu region, the situation is normal.
At the Kumamoto Airport traffic has been only partially restored, with only arriving planes being allowed at the moment. The other airports in the Kyushu region function almost as usual.
The service has been stopped on all the lines.
Major JR Lines with the Service Suspended
Kagoshima Main Line: Kumamoto - Yatsushiro
Hōhi Main Line: Kumamoto - Bungo Taketa
Misumi Line: traffic suspended
Hisatsu Line: Yatsushiro - Yoshimatsu
Other Train Lines
Minamiaso Railways: traffic suspended
Kumamoto Tramway: traffic suspended on all the lines
Kumamoto Electric Railway: the traffic is suspended on the interval between Kamikumamoto and Kita-Kumamoto
Kyūshō Ferry: the traffic between the Kumamoto and Shimabara Ports is suspended until April 27th
Kumamoto Ferry: the traffic between the Kumamoto and Shimabara Ports is suspended until April 27th
Highways with suspended traffic
Kyushu Expressway: Ueki IC - Yatsushiro IC
Oita Expressway: Kusu IC - Beppu IC, Hiji JCT - Hayami IC
Kyushu Chūō Expressway: Kashima JCT - Oike Takayama IC
Important Information Sources and Media Services
JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization)
The JNTO (The Japan National Tourism Organization) has created an English language website for foreign travelers, publishing daily information related to the area affected by the earthquake in Kumamoto.
Official Website: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eq/kumamoto.html
Emergency Calls: 03-3201-3331 or (＋81)3-3201-3331(for international calls) * Support in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean language. *During nighttime (from 17:00 to 09:00, Japan time) Japanese and English support only)
Safety tips (Smartphone application)
A Smartphone application for disaster information, giving alerts for early earthquake and tsunami warnings (available on iPhone and android). Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean language versions are available.
Download page: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eq/kumamoto.html
Tokyo Disaster Prevention Website
A Disaster Prevention manual made available for free by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. It contains information on what to do in case of a large scale earthquake, useful data and emergency call numbers. The English, Chinese and Korean versions of the manual are available for download.
Hirosaki University - Quick Reference in Easy Japanese
A disaster prevention website created by the Laboratory for Sociolinguistics of the Faculty of Literature, Hirosaki University. It contains a compilation of advice in easy Japanese for language learners, related to what conduct we should adopt in case of natural disasters.
Free Media Service (BeBorn, Inc.)
This is a translation service with support in 10 different languages, made available for free all-day round by BeBorn, Inc., a company based in Fukuoka city. Please keep in mind that the use of this service is restricted to emergencies caused by the quake disaster.
This service is used by regional authorities, by the Defense Forces, by the staff and volunteers stationed in the emergency shelters, by journalists and tourism officials in order to communicate with foreigners living in Japan.
Language support: English, Chinese (Mandarin), Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Russian.
Shelters and other emergency facilities
Kumamoto city has established an emergency shelter for foreign residents and travelers. It is located in the Kumamoto City International Center. Information related to the disaster is available in English and Chinese.
Kumamoto City International Center
Open: 24 hours a day
Address: Kumamoto, Kumamoto city, Chūō ward, Hanabatakechō 4-18
Website: Japanese, English, Chinese
*The shelter will be functioning until April 24th, 9 AM.
For other emergency shelters please check out the following links:
Shelters in Kumamoto and Oita (the orange pins mark the shelters in function at present)
Dialysis Centers in Kumamoto and Oita (the red pins mark facilities where dialysis can be performed)
Drinkable Water Sources in Kumamoto and Oita (the bottle icon marks places where drinkable water can be obtained)
Open Supermarkets (the blue pins mark stores that are open for business)
Gasolin stands (red pins)
Distribution of boiled rice and supplies (the red pins mark places where boiled rice and supplies are distributed at present)
Open public baths and onsen (red pins)
Voices from the refuge shelter (Japanese only)
Toilets (the red pins mark public toilets, the blue pins mark drinkable water sources)
Free WiFi in the Kyushu region
Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi
An application that can be easily used to search for and connect to the free WiFi spots in Japan.
If you cannot connect to the WiFi or the battery of your mobile phone is low, you can use the public telephones in the city. This is a map of the public telephones made available by the NTT West Japan. (Japanese only)
How to use the public telephone in an area affected by a natural disaster (English)
Information on how to support the affected area
Gaijinpot has created a website with information on the area affected by the disaster. You can find out where to get help in case of emergency, as well as how you can help the people in the area affected by the earthquake.
Contact Information of Embassies and Consulates
*In case of international calls, please replace the first "0" with "＋81" when calling. For example (＋81)3-3224-5003
The United States of America
Republic of Korea
People's Republic of China
The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
For information on other embasies and consulates please refer to the following website:
Embassies and Consulates in Japan (http://www.mofa.go.jp/about/emb_cons/protocol/a-h.html)