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Chinese Earthquake Shakes Tourists in Chengdu

Planning a trip to China? Be prepared - the country is reeling in shock after a major earthquake rattled the Olympic travel spot. Travelers hoping to visit in the next few months need to make sure that their plans are still possible. The quake hit hardest near Chengdu, which is popular with tourists for its breathtaking mountain scenery, not to mention the once in a lifetime visits to Giant Panda reserves.

Stay On Top of Travel AlertsStay On Top of Travel AlertsThe magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck 57 miles northwest of Chengdu (in the Sichuan province) early this morning, but its tremors were felt from Bangkok to Beijing. Beijing buildings were spotted swaying for as long as two minutes, so the Olympic headquarters were evacuated- as were other high-rises.

Unfortunately, such a severe earthquake in a well populated area is bound to come with casualties. At the moment, at least 107 deaths have been confirmed, and injuries will be in the thousands. At one middle school, 900 children were trapped when the building collapsed, and hopefully they will be rescued without incident.

Chinese officials have been quick to respond, sending troops to assist the local government. Tourists in China would be advised to ensure that attractions are open and roads are clear before heading to the Sichuan province. If you haven't left home yet, call your travel agent to ask if your trip is still appropriate, some areas might need time to recover before they're ready for tourists.

For updates on Chengdu attractions contact:

  • The China National Tourist Office
  • The Giant Panda Breeding Research Base (86) 8351-6748
  • Hetaoping Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda (86) 837-624-6607

For breaking earthquake news, try one of these accredited news sites:

What's the verdict girlfriends, is visiting an area after a natural disaster a do or a don't? What would you do if you already had your tickets?

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Although the initial concerns are warranted, travelers should not intentionally avoid Chengdu. I am currently living in Chengdu and was here for the earthquake. Although some of the nearby cities suffered major damage, damage in Chengdu was very limited. I have heard reports of a building that collapsed and a couple buildings suffered minor structural damage but, by in large, tourist trips to the area will not be impeded at all. The day following the quake most stores in the city were closed but everything in Chengdu should return to normal by the weekend at the latest. It is a great city and I would encourage people not to change their travel plans.

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