Residents and local authorities have been warned about blackouts and asked to save energy as temperatures drop
FILE PHOTO: View of Tokyo buildings and their reflects on the water in early evening in Tokyo, Japan. © David MAREUIL / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
The Japanese government issued an emergency warning for citizens, organizations, and the local authorities on Monday, warning of potential blackouts while calling on households and companies to save electricity starting Tuesday morning. The request regards Tokyo and eight other prefectures, and was issued for the first time since January last year.
The warning comes after a massive earthquake off the Tohoku region in the east of the country damaged several power plants. The unseasonably cold weather in Tokyo, with snow falling and temperatures dropping sharply to 39F (4C), exacerbated the energy problem, as increased demand for heating is expected.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) warned that 2 to 3 million households could lose power after 8pm local time if the current power usage rate remains unchanged.
“At this rate, we are coming closer to a state where we will have to conduct power outages similar to those that took place after the quake (last week),” Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Koichi Hagiuda said.