Tokyo flights canceled, diverted after tsunami

In the wake of a giant tsunami wave that battered the east coast of Japan, sending a 10-metre high tidal wave crashing on to coastal areas, airlines have canceled and diverted flights.

The 8.9-magnitude quake, Japan’s worst and the 7th strongest ever recorded has caused massive damage to coastal areas by triggering a tsunami wave that now careens across the pacific heading for the U.S. west coast.

Tokyo flights canceled include Nippon, Virgin, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France and Malaysia Airlines have have all canceled flights to and from both of Tokyo’s airports.

Japan’s All Nippon Airways Co. told the Wall Street Journal that “131 domestic and international flights were canceled, grounding 32,700 passengers. Including flights which changed destinations, the earthquake affected 162 flights and 37,800 passengers”

“We have received notification from the airport authorities to suspend our flights in and out of Narita Airport and Haneda Airport,” Malaysia Airlines Director of Operations, Captain Azharuddin Osman said in a statement. “We will only be able to confirm our flight schedules once we receive clearance from the relevant civil aviation authorities.

AOLnews reports the Red Cross in Geneva saying the wave was higher than some Pacific islands, and a tsunami warning has been issued for the whole of the Pacific Basin, including Hawaii, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan and Russia. Authorities in Hawaii ordered the evacuation of coastal areas.

Flickrphoto by Bejnamin Thompson