UK tourists 'turn up' after Sichuan quake

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Chinese officials say 31 British tourists have turned up unharmed in the area devastated by Monday's earthquake.

A Foreign Ministry statement said the group returned to the provincial capital Chengdu on Tuesday night from a visit to the Wolong nature reserve. ( Map )

It is not clear if the group is the same as the 19 Britons who were reported missing earlier.

Travel firm Kuoni said the 19 were on a coach from Chengdu to Wolong in Sichuan province when the tremor struck.

British travel group Abta said 100 UK tourists in affected areas were safe.

The Foreign Office said it had no confirmed information of British injuries, but that local reports said 15 Britons were unaccounted for.

The death toll for the earthquake, which struck south-western China on Monday, now stands at over 12,000.

Officials say they have no news yet from the towns at the epicentre of the quake, which had a magnitude of 7.8.

Kuoni said that the 19 British tourists had been customers of the Travel Collection company, one of its subsidiaries, and had been accompanied by a local guide and driver.

A statement from the company said it was trying to make contact with the group.

It added: "All lines of communication to the region are down and as such no further information is known at this time. We are working closely with the British Consulate in China."

Source: BBC

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