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Thai embassy in Japan on standby to help evacuate Thai tourists

A handout picture taken and released on Monday by Japan Ground Self-Defense Force shows a bulldozer clearing snow from a road in Okutama area, western Tokyo, Japan. //EPA/JAPAN

A handout picture taken and released on Monday by Japan Ground Self-Defense Force shows a bulldozer clearing snow from a road in Okutama area, western Tokyo, Japan. //EPA/JAPAN

The Thai Embassy in Japan has been on standby around the clock to help coordinate evacuations of Thai tourists who may be trapped by snowstorms, the Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Sek Wannamethee said the embassy had coordinated with concerned agencies to provide basic assistance to Thai tourists, who have been stranded by snow storms at hotels and various resorts in Japan.

The tourists were also advised to stock up on sufficient food and drink survive for at least three days were advised to avoid travelling this week, Sek said.

The embassy has also opened a hotline at (++81 90) 4435 7812 for Thai tourists to call for help. Sek said the hotline has already received several calls.

He said a lot of Thai tourists had already called the number.

He said the embassy was also coordinating with tour firms to take care of Thai tourists.

The tourists, who have visited without visa and who may have to overstay the 15-day visa-free period because of the storm, should contact the embassy immediately.

A severe snowstorm sweeping across Japan has killed 19 people and left more than 1,600 injured, media and officials said Monday, as the extreme weather sparked widespread transport chaos.

The storm is now moving toward northernmost Hokkaido, Japan’s meteorological agency said, warning of heavy snow, blizzards and avalanches as well as high waves along the northeastern coast, which was battered by a quake-sparked tsunami almost three years ago.


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