News / Asia

Tokyo Faces Months of Power Cuts After Quake

Advertising boards on the buildings are seen without the illumination at Tokyo's Shibuya district, March 14, 2011
Advertising boards on the buildings are seen without the illumination at Tokyo's Shibuya district, March 14, 2011
Henry Ridgwell

The 35 million inhabitants of Tokyo and its surroundings are getting prepared for enforced power cuts that could last until the end of April. The government says damage and closures at many of the country’s power plants following Friday’s massive earthquake means electricity supplies cannot keep up with demand. Meanwhile authorities are warning of the risk of large aftershocks in the coming days.

Most Monday evenings, Tokyo station is normally packed as millions of commuters head to the suburbs.

It appears many workers have heeded the Japanese government’s call for people to stay home, in an effort to conserve power.

For those who did venture out – the sense of fear following Friday's massive earthquake is still present.

"It is very scary. I am scared of more earthquakes," says one commuter.
"I was in my office on the 33rd floor when the earthquake struck on Friday. It swayed from side to side, everyone was so shocked," says another traveller.

Rolling power outages have been ordered in Tokyo and nine surrounding prefectures.

With electricity output slashed as power stations shut down, the government says it can only supply about three-quarters of normal demand. The cuts could last until the end of April – a big blow to one of the world’s biggest financial hubs.

But the government warns the alternative is a devastating all-out blackout. And the danger is not over.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency says there is a 70 percent chance of a magnitude-seven or stronger earthquake striking in the next three days – and a 50 percent chance in the three days after that. Any big aftershocks could present a danger for buildings already weakened by last Friday’s quake.

State-of-the-art design meant Tokyo’s countless skyscrapers withstood the huge tremors on Friday.

In this huge metropolitan area of 35 million inhabitants, there is a palpable nervousness over what the coming days may bring.

As Tokyo’s workers head home – their thoughts are also with the tens of thousands of people a few hundred kilometres further north, whose homes and livelihoods have crumbled or been washed away.

Raw video of Friday's tsunami


You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More