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Japan aftershock knocks out power

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1 Japan aftershock knocks out power on Sat 09 Apr 2011, 1:04 am


Shoppers emptied store shelves, traffic snarled after stoplights lost power and drivers waited in long lines to buy petrol in a new wave of anxiety on Friday after a magnitude-7.1 aftershock struck disaster-weary north-eastern Japan.

Nearly a half-million homes were without electricity after the latest tremor, which dealt another setback for those struggling to recover from the earthquake-spawned tsunami that wiped out hundreds of kilometres of the north-eastern coast last month and killed as many as 25,000 people.

"I feel helpless. I am back to square one," said Ryoichi Kubo, 52, who had just finally reopened his gas station in hard-hit Iwate prefecture (state) after the power outage and prolonged fuel shortage that followed the March 11 tsunami. Friday, he was again without electricity, his four gas pumps shut down.

Three people died in Thursday's aftershock, the worst since the day of the massive magnitude-9.0 quake.

The latest tremor largely spared the nation's nuclear power plants and there was no sign of fresh problems at the troubled Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, which has been spewing radiation since it was swamped by the tsunami.

Power remained cut on Friday across much of northern Japan, including areas far inland, and homes were without gas and water. Petrol was again scarce.

Convenience stores sold out of basics such as water and snack foods, and supermarkets switched back to rationing purchases.

In Ichinoseki, 390km north-east of Tokyo, lines of 30 or more people formed outside the Marue supermarket starting when it opened at 9am.

With power out, each customer was escorted through the aisles by an employee with a flashlight and a pad, who jotted down the price of each item.

About 450,000 households were still without electricity on Friday evening, said Souta Nozu, a spokesman for Tohoku Electric Power Company, which serves northern Japan. That includes homes in prefectures in Japan'snorth-west that had been spared in the first quake.

Several nuclear power plants briefly switched to diesel generators when the aftershock hit but were reconnected to the grid by Friday afternoon.

At a plant in Onagawa, some radioactive water splashed out of the pools but did not leave a containment building, Tohoku Electric said. Such splashing is not unusual.

There was one bit of good news on Friday: Automakers said they were beginning to bounce back after halting operations due to parts shortages after the tsunami.

Toyota will resume car production at all its plants in Japan at half capacity from April 18 to 27. Nissan also said it would start up domestic production at half capacity from April 11.

But other developments were grim. Those killed by Thursday's quake were a 79-year-old man who died of shock, a woman in her 60s who lost power to her oxygen tank, and an 85-year-old man whose cause of death was not specified.

Many bodies from last month's tsunami have not been found, and many probably were swept out to sea and never will be.

On Friday, hundreds of police, many mobilised from Tokyo, used their hands or small shovels, pulling four bodies in an hour from one small area in the city of Minami Soma.

A tsunami warning was also issued after Thursday's aftershock, but it was cancelled about 90 minutes later. The aftershock was in about the same location as the original 9.0-magnitude quake, off the eastern coast and about 65km from Sendai, an industrial city on the eastern coast.

It was strong enough to shake buildings for about a minute as far away as Tokyo, about 330km away.

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2 Re: Japan aftershock knocks out power on Sat 09 Apr 2011, 1:05 am


National Player
National Player
Wow, didn't know about this it :'(

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3 Re: Japan aftershock knocks out power on Sat 09 Apr 2011, 1:07 am


Yeah, happen the other day

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4 Re: Japan aftershock knocks out power on Sun 10 Apr 2011, 6:23 pm


County Cricketer
County Cricketer
I haven't heard this yet! Also, I didn't feel like reading it all.

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5 Re: Japan aftershock knocks out power on Sun 12 Jun 2011, 8:09 am


District Player
District Player
I'm starting to get interested. I would like more please!

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