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Power Cuts Continue To Disrupt Communications and Transport In Japan

Tue 15 Mar, 2011 // Firstnumber Team
map of japan

Despite coming away from the Japan earthquake and tsunami relatively unscathed, the Japanese capital Tokyo has not avoided the effects of the disaster. Power cuts to the city have continued for a second day today; the measure was introduced on Monday in order to conserve the drastically depleted power supplies as a result of the catastrophe.

The precautions are being taken by TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co.) to avoid a fully blown power black-out across Japan, and are likely to remain in place for quite some time. Power rationing is in effect in Tokyo, as well as 8 other prefectures, in total affecting approximately 45 million people.

The Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, explained the reasoning behind the move:

“We have to avoid at all costs a sudden power shortage whose scale could have devastating consequences for the economy and people's lives.”

The power cuts caused severe disruption to Japan's famously efficient railway network, and has restricted communications drastically throughout the area. For many hoping to contact missing relatives, or find out further information, the name boards at various civic centres have provided the best way to keep up to date on any developments.

While power cuts have been scheduled to run on a rotational basis in Tokyo and the other 8 prefectures, many areas are without power completely. The rotational schedules, along with various other useful resources can be found at the Google Crisis Response page.

The earthquake which hit just off the coast of Japan on Friday has now been revised as a 9.0 magnitude, raised from the previous 8.9 rating, and now ranks as the fifth largest quake anywhere in the past 100 years. The quake and subsequent tremors caused waves of up to 10 metres high to encroach the land and desolate whatever lay in its path.

Recent UN reports have released an estimated figure of deceased and missing persons, announcing that some 1,600 people are known to have been killed, whilst 10,00 more remain missing.

For those awaiting a response from their friends and family in Japan, the lack of communications continues to hamper any efforts to make contact. If you have been affected by the events in Japan in any way, or are looking to get in touch with someone in the country, Firstnumber can offer cheap calls to Japan from as little as 2p per minute.

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