Tourists warned away from dan­ger zone

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHAO XINYING zhaoxiny­ing@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

The China Na­tional Tourism Ad­min­is­tra­tion is­sued safety tips on Wed­nes­day, warn­ing that in com­ing days tourists should not travel to Ji­uzhaigou, a scenic spot in Sichuan prov­ince that was hit by a mag­ni­tude-7.0 earth­quake on Tues­day night.

“Tourists should not travel alone to Ji­uzhaigou, and travel agen­cies should stop or­ga­niz­ing or lead­ing tour groups to the spot. Tour groups al­ready there should help tourists get out as soon as pos­si­ble,” the ad­min­is­tra­tion said.

Ji­uzhaigou Na­tional Park is a pop­u­lar spot in Sichuan that is known for its spec­tac­u­lar wa­ter­falls and karst for­ma­tions. It at­tracts mil­lions of tourists from China and abroad each year, and summer is one of the busiest sea­sons.

Data from the park’s web­site show that it has re­ceived more than 30,000 tourists a day since the be­gin­ning of Au­gust. Aug 4 alone saw about 41,000 tourists, nearly reach­ing full ca­pac­ity.

On Tues­day, more than 38,000 tourists vis­ited the park, up 16.5 per­cent from the same day last year. Among the tourists about half were trav­el­ing alone and the other half were in groups.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion has asked the Sichuan Tourism De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee to col­lect in­for­ma­tion about tourists in Ji­uzhaigou and re­port promptly.

As of 6:25 pm on Wed­nes­day, the death toll from the earth­quake had risen to 19, with 263 peo­ple in­jured.

A task force led by Li Shi­hong, deputy di­rec­tor of the ad­min­is­tra­tion, headed to Ji­uzhaigou county on Wed­nes­day, to of­fer guid­ance on evac­u­at­ing tourists.

Ac­cord­ing to the ad­min­is­tra­tion, au­thor­i­ties in Sichuan have co­op­er­ated with travel agen­cies, lo­cal gov­ern­ments and ho­tels to evac­u­ate tourists since Tues­day night.

Lo­cal tourism au­thor­i­ties also asked their coun­ter­parts in neigh­bor­ing cities such as Deyang and Mianyang to of­fer nec­es­sary help for tourists who pass by.

Tai­wan’s Tourism Bureau said on Wed­nes­day that tourists from Tai­wan and per­son­nel from 19 tour groups in Ji­uzhaigou were all safe.

A Chi­nese main­land spokesper­son on Wed­nes­day ex­pressed grat­i­tude for the con­cerns and con­do­lences from Tai­wan.

The cen­tral com­mit­tee of the Kuom­intang party in Tai­wan con­veyed its con­do­lences and ex­pressed hope that quake-hit res­i­dents can weather the dif­fi­cul­ties and com­plete post-quake re­con­struc­tion as soon as pos­si­ble, said Ma Xiaoguang, main­land spokesper­son for the State Coun­cil’s Tai­wan Af­fairs Of­fice.

Xinhua con­trib­uted to this story.

FAN PEISHEN / XINHUA

Tourists hud­dle in the park­ing lot of a five-star ho­tel in Ji­uzhaigou, Sichuan prov­ince, on Wed­nes­day, wait­ing to be evac­u­ated af­ter an earth­quake on Tues­day night.

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