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Tokyo faces uncertainty over supply of food, energy

[ 2011-03-15 10:38]     字号 [] [] []  
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Commuters and residents of the Japanese capital faced confusion and uncertainty on Monday over the supply of food and energy in the wake of Friday's devastating quake and tsunami, and as a nuclear crisis showed no signs of abating.

Some store shelves continued to be empty and many train lines were shut down as Tokyo commuters returned to work after a weekend glued to horrific images of the extensive damage about 240 km to the north from the magnitude-9 quake.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Sunday called it Japan's worst crisis since World War II, and the mood has also been darkened by news reports quoting experts as saying there is a 70 percent chance of another damaging tremor by Wednesday.

More than 100 commuter train lines in the Tokyo area were scheduled to be partially or completely closed on Monday.

Several calls to East Japan Railways Co, the largest train operator in the country, went unanswered due to high call volume, according to a recording.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) had reported early on Monday that it would schedule rolling blackouts in Tokyo and surrounding cities to conserve energy amid the crisis at nuclear power plants in the earthquake-affected areas.

But early planned blackouts did not materialize, and it was not clear what TEPCO's plans were for the rest of the day.

Calls to TEPCO were met with busy signals.

Some stores have run out of packaged and prepared goods such as instant noodles, instant curry, tofu, bread and eggs, due partly to transportation and delivery difficulties and also to runs on the stores by worried residents.

In short demand also is tofu, believed to help combat radiation poisoning because it contains low amounts of iodine.

Nevertheless, there is no sign of panic in Tokyo, with main commuter trains running and crowds of office workers outdoors getting meals during the lunch hour.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Tokyo faces uncertainty over supply of food, energy

Tokyo faces uncertainty over supply of food, energy

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China Daily for one year.