Earthquake could delay school trip

LINDISFARNE Anglican Grammar School has had to reconsider a scheduled student trip to Japan in light of recent natural disasters.

A record earthquake hit north-east Japan last month, setting a nuclear plant ablaze and creating a 10 metre tsunami that killed thousands of people.

Lindisfarne coordinator of Japanese Eddie Miller said all parents had been consulted and the school was currently deciding on the best plan of action for the September trip.

“We won't make a final decision until we know for sure that the students are going to be 100% safe,” Mr Miller said.

“We would only continue with the trip if we were sure of their safety.”

The school could delay the trip until December or even until April next year if the country is deemed unsafe to visit.

“We will be looking at a lot of recommendations, from parents, from our sister school in Japan and from the relevant travelling bodies,” Mr Miller said.

“This is why we haven't made a decision yet, we need time to monitor everything.

“The situation in Japan could change before September.”

Mr Miller said the places the students were scheduled to visit were well away from the disaster zones but there were still concerns.

“Many parents are concerned about the possibility of radiation in the food and water that students could be exposed to,” Mr Miller said.

The school has also announced that no students will miss out on the trip if it is delayed until next year.

“We only have one Year 12 student who has applied to attend, he won't be enrolled at the school next year, but in that case he could still attend after he has graduated,” Mr Miller said.

“We wouldn't deny him this opportunity because of circumstances that are of no fault of his own.”

The earthquake hit at 2.46pm on March 11.

The epicentre was more than 70km off the coast but caused massive waves to hit the coast of Japan and travel up to seven kilometres inland.

Japanese police have officially confirmed more than 12,000 deaths with a further 15,000 people declared missing. Around 4.4 million households were left without electricity and 1.5 million without water.

The Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has declared the emergency as Japan's worst crisis since the Second World War.

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