Six days after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake unleashed a devastating tsunami on the northeastern coast of Japan, Tokyo’s two main airport Haneda and Narita are seeing huge spikes in travelers trying to leave the region as nuclear contamination fears grow CNN reports.
According to CNN, thousands of travelers have gathered at Narita International Airport with large crowds also showing up at Haneda Airport amidst growing concerns over the possibility of a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima power plant 150 miles northeast of Tokyo. International travelers staying in Japan are trying to return home while some Tokyo residents are trying to flee to the southern part of the country as officials gauge the radiation threat to Tokyo. As of now, most experts agree that this risk is very small but considering the lack of information over the extent of the situation at Fukushima, many people in Tokyo are deciding not to take the risk of radiation exposure in the event of a catastrophic meltdown.
Most airlines have continued to serve Tokyo’s major airports according to The New York Times, but some airlines, such as German-based Lufthansa, have re-routed flights to Nagoya and Osaka to the south of Tokyo.
A couple airlines, including Swiss International Airlines and Air France have added stopovers in other Asian cities such as Hong Kong and Seoul to ensure that crew members don’t have to stay in Tokyo but have continued serving Tokyo.