British Columbia

North Van students safe in Japan

Twenty-two students from a North Vancouver school are safe after their flight to Tokyo was diverted shortly after the earthquake hit.

Flights to Tokyo grounded, diverted

Travellers study a Hong Kong information screen showing flights to Japan's Haneda and Narita airports that were delayed after an earthquake Friday morning. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Twenty-two North Vancouver students who left on a flight to Japan on Thursday are safe Friday, school officials said.

The students from Argyle Secondary were scheduled to arrive in Tokyo at 4:30 p.m. local time on Friday, but their plane was re-routed to Sapporo.

School officials said the students landed shortly after the earthquake and tsunami waves hit. Three staff members with the group, who are visiting Japan as part of their digital media studies, are also safe.

Victoria Miles is the Communications Manager for the North Vancouver School District. She said Friday that the school group is resting but that the students are very concerned about their sister school in Japan.

"Our students are concerned about students that they've met from Japanese delegations," Miles said.

"There have been literally waves of concern I think going out, just confirming that people are well and they are safe no matter where they are in Japan."

Miles said school officials are discussing when the students should come back.

Flights cancelled, alerted

Many airlines, including Air Canada, cancelled flights to Tokyo on Friday.

A spokesman for Air Canada said flights from Toronto and Vancouver had to be cancelled because Narita International Airport in Tokyo is closed. The airline normally runs one flight a day from each city.

Japan Airlines and American Airlines also cancelled their daily flights between Vancouver and Tokyo.

The spokesman for Air Canada said the Montreal-based airline is monitoring the situation before it decides whether to cancel further flights in the coming days.

Air Canada posted online alerts of possible cancellations for flights to Hawaii and Sydney due to tsunami risk.

With files from The Canadian Press