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Kumamoto Earthquake: Information For Travelers Visiting Japan

Kumamoto Earthquake: Information For Travelers Visiting Japan

Kumamoto 2016.04.19 Bookmark

We have compiled a series of useful information for travelers and foreign residents who are now in the disaster affected Kyushu area.

Translated by MATCHA_En

Written by MATCHA

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.

Traffic Situation

The Airports
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.

Kyushu Shinkansen
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

Ferryboat Lines
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

Other Regions

In the other regions of Japan (KantōKansaiTōkaiKōshin'etsuHokurikuTōhoku, Hokkaido,, ChūgokuShikoku) the situation is stable and traffic is conducted as usual.

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.

Download page: EnglishChineseKorean

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.

Website: http://human.cc.hirosaki-u.ac.jp/kokugo/EJ-kuikkurefa.html

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.

Telephone: 092-687-5137
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
Telephone: 096-359-2020
Website: JapaneseEnglishChinese
*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)
https://goo.gl/VXBEFj
Dialysis Centers in Kumamoto and Oita (the red pins mark facilities where dialysis can be performed)
https://goo.gl/u2DcNh
Drinkable Water Sources in Kumamoto and Oita (the bottle icon marks places where drinkable water can be obtained)
https://goo.gl/WvMFgv
Open Supermarkets (the blue pins mark stores that are open for business)
https://goo.gl/1ooSqP
Gasolin stands (red pins)
https://goo.gl/LmCbld
Distribution of boiled rice and supplies (the red pins mark places where boiled rice and supplies are distributed at present)
https://goo.gl/Uw6kjr
Open public baths and onsen (red pins)
https://goo.gl/zvjMpq
Voices from the refuge shelter (Japanese only)
https://goo.gl/kteRDH
Toilets (the red pins mark public toilets, the blue pins mark drinkable water sources)
https://goo.gl/bstBMl

Free WiFi in the Kyushu region

Map of Free Public WiFi Spots 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.

Download page:http://www.ntt-bp.net/jcfw/ja.html

Public Telephones

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)
Kumamoto prefecture
https://www.ntt-west.co.jp/ptd/map/search/addrlist/43/

Oita prefecture
https://www.ntt-west.co.jp/ptd/map/search/addrlist/44/

How to use the public telephone in an area affected by a natural disaster (English)
http://www.ntt-west.co.jp/ptd_e/basis/disaster.html

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.
http://blog.gaijinpot.com/2016-kumamoto-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
Telephone: 03-3224-5000

Republic of Korea
Telephone: 03-3452-7611/9

People's Republic of China
Telephone: 03-3403-3380

Thailand
Telephone: 03-5789-2433

Indonesia
Telephone: 03-3441-4201

The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
Telephone: 03-3466-3311/3313/3314

Philippines
Telephone: 03-5562-1600

Great Britain
Telephone: 093-541-5605

Australia
Telephone: 03-5232-4111

Germany
Telephone: 03-5791-7700

France
Telephone: 03-5798-6000

Singapore
Telephone: 03-3586-9111/2

Spain
Telephone: 03-3583-8531/2

Russia
Telephone: 03-3583-4224

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)

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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