Japan Earthquake; Power Outages, Communication Glitches, Logistics Disruptions Continue

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Utility poles are seen toppled on Tuesday following a massive earthquake in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture.

The powerful earthquakes that hit Ishikawa Prefecture have caused significant damage to infrastructure and utilities, including electricity, communications and logistics in affected areas.

About 34,100 households were left without power as of 10 a.m. on Tuesday. Units 1 and 2 of Hokuriku Electric Power Co.’s Nanao Ota Thermal Power Station in Ishikawa Prefecture have suspended operations, while the output of units 1 and 2 of Hokuriku Electric’s Toyama Shinko Thermal Power Station in Toyama Prefecture has been reduced. A total of 65 gas stations in the prefectures of Ishikawa, Toyama, Niigata and Fukui were closed as of Tuesday morning, according to the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry.

The four major telecommunication companies — NTT Docomo Inc., KDDI Corp., SoftBank Corp. and Rakuten Mobile Inc. — have been experiencing cell phone communication disruptions since Monday evening, primarily in Ishikawa Prefecture.

Regarding logistics, Yamato Transport Co. has suspended the accepting and delivering of packages in Ishikawa Prefecture as of Tuesday morning. Sagawa Express Co. has also halted pickups and deliveries in some areas of Ishikawa Prefecture. Japan Post Co. experienced significant delays of deliveries throughout Ishikawa, Toyama, Niigata and Fukui prefectures.

In terms of convenience stores, about 100 of the 7-Eleven stores in Ishikawa, Toyama and Niigata prefectures, among other locations, were closed as of 8 a.m. on Tuesday, owing to delivery stoppages and damage to facilities. Meanwhile, 158 FamilyMart stores were closed in four prefectures, including Toyama. Lawson reported 30 stores closed in three prefectures, including Ishikawa.

Aeon Co. said that all of its stores, primarily supermarkets, were open on Tuesday. According to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, a total of 26 municipalities across Ishikawa, Niigata, Toyama, Nagano and Fukui prefectures experienced water outages as of Tuesday morning.