Disruption of Communication Services Continue in Disaster-struck Areas of Hokuriku Region

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A crew working to restore power is seen in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Wednesday.

Disruptions in cell phones, landline phones and internet connection services due to the Noto Peninsula Earthquake continue primarily in Ishikawa Prefecture.

Although recovery is progressing, backup power supply for communication services could run out in areas where power outages continue. Telecommunication companies are taking measures such as sending emergency power generation equipment to these areas.

The four major cell phone companies, including NTT Docomo Inc. and Softbank Corp., continue to have difficulty connecting calls and data communications in parts of Nanao, Wajima, Suzu, Anamizu, Noto and Shika in Ishikawa.

The Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Takeaki Matsumoto told reporters on Thursday that the government intends to hasten efforts to restore services through working with the public sector. He said, “If the power outage continues longer, communication services could be disrupted in wider areas.”

According to the communication ministry, broadcasting of NHK and four commercial TV broadcasters has halted in parts of Wajima due to backup power running out.

According to Hokuriku Electric Power Co., approximately 27,200 households in Ishikawa were without power as of 10:00 a.m. on Friday. Although the outages are gradually being resolved with support from other major power companies, recovery has not progressed in two municipalities in the heavily damaged northern Okunoto region, with approximately 10,500 households affected in Wajima.

Some retail stores also remain closed as of Friday. 27 FamilyMart stores in Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures, a 7-Eleven store and three Lawson stores in Ishikawa Prefecture suspended operations.