SINGAPORE - A second tour group from Singapore has made it out of the quake-hit Jiuzhaigou region in Sichuan province.
Tour agency Chan Brothers, speaking to The Straits Times on Thursday (Aug 10), said a group of 20 people, all unhurt, have left the area, and are on board a coach to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. They are expected to reach the city later on Thursday.
The tourists were originally scheduled to return from Chengdu to Singapore on Sunday.
A Chan Brothers spokesman said: "However, we will speak with them upon arrival in Chengdu and ascertain if they wish to continue their tour or return to Singapore earlier."
The agency said it is offering alternative itineraries to people who have booked trips to Jiuzhaigou, including one group that is slated to leave Singapore for Chengdu on Saturday.
They can, for instance, choose a Chengdu itinerary that excludes Jiuzhai Valley or opt for a tour to a different part of China. They can also postpone their tours to a later date.
The spokesman said: "Requests from customers who wish to cancel their tours will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with the respective airlines."
She added that the tour agency is closely monitoring the situation by staying in touch with local operators.
A 6.5-magnitude tremor struck Sichuan in south-west China on Tuesday near the Jiuzhaigou nature reserve. The scenic area is a popular destination for Singapore tourists.
At least 19 people, including eight tourists, were killed, and 247 injured, the provincial government and state media said on Wednesday.
At least two groups of Singapore travellers were affected by the earthquake.
A group of 16 people, who were on a Jiuzhaigou tour organised by Dynasty Travel, reached Chengdu by coach at 7pm on Wednesday night.
Dynasty Travel's director of public relations and communications, Ms Alicia Seah, said the tour agency is closely monitoring the situation to ensure the safety of its customers, who are visiting Chengdu and the south-western parts of Sichuan.
"These scenic spots include Leshan, Mount Emei, Hailuogou, which are not affected by the earthquake," she added.
Ms Seah said the Jiuzhaigou area is now closed to visitors.
The itinerary for tour groups leaving Singapore later this month will be amended if the Jiuzhaigou tourist spot is not opened by then, she said.