Hokkaido Earthquake, Typhoon Jebi Disrupt Japan Travel

One of city's landmarks, Sapporo TV Tower, is seen in the blackout in the center of Sapporo city, Hokkaido, northern Japan, after Thursday's earthquake. // Photo by AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko via Newscred

A powerful typhoon and an earthquake in Hokkaido are disrupting travel in Japan this week.

Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan, is set to partially reopen Friday after sustaining damage from Typhoon Jebi, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) reports. The storm had passed over Japan September 5 – 6, and domestic flights are now set to resume Friday, September 7, followed by international flights as soon as the airport is ready.

Additionally, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck the Hokkaido area at approximately 3 a.m. local time Thursday morning, the JNTO reports, shutting down New Chitose Airport and suspending rail and metro service due to a blackout. While the earthquake poses no tsunami risk, officials say, travelers visiting Hokkaido are advised to be alert for major aftershocks over the course of the next week.  

A number of airlines have issued change waivers due to the situation:

Customers on American Airlines set to fly through Kansai September 11 can rebook for travel through September 14, or change their origin or destination city to Narita, Haneda, or Nagoya. A difference in fare may apply to those who change their origin or destination city, and customers must rebook in the same cabin or pay the difference.

Delta is allowing customers set to fly through Osaka through September 11 to rebook through September 17, with the new ticket to be reissued on or before that date.

United Airlines is allowing customers set to fly through Osaka, Fukuoka, Nagoya, Haneda or Narita through September 6 to rebook through September 10 in the original cabin and between the same city pair. Customers can also opt to rebook after September 10, or change their departure or destination city, without a change fee, but a difference in fare will apply. Customers set to fly through Osaka September 7 – 12 can rebook through September 23 in the original cabin between the same city pair, or rebook after September 23 or change their departure or destination city by paying a difference in fare. In all cases, rescheduled travel must be completed within one year from the date when the ticket was issued.

Finally, customers on Japan Airlines can opt to request a refund or change their ticket if their flight is affected by the typhoon or earthquake.

At least 11 people have died in Japan as a result of Typhoon Jebi, which was the most powerful storm to hit the country in 25 years, NPR reports. Approximately 110 people were also injured.

According to The Japan Times, at least nine people are dead and 31 missing after earthquake in Hokkaido. The quake, which reached a magnitude of 7 in some areas, also caused a number of landslides, engulfing houses and causing widespread power outages.

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