Japanese reduce energy consumption to avoid blackout after earthquake

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Neon signs were turned off and lights and heaters dimmed in Japan on Tuesday after the government issued an urgent appeal to save energy, warning of blackouts after an earthquake last week caused a serious shortage. power.

With snow in Tokyo and the temperature dropping to 2 degrees Celsius, Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) said demand has increased and as many as 3 million homes could be without power after 8 pm local time if usage rates didn’t drop. .

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said overnight that the country will likely be able to avoid blackouts.

Commerce Minister Koichi Hagiuda had earlier warned: “At this rate, we are approaching a state where we will have to carry out power outages similar to those that occurred after the earthquake.”

Last Wednesday’s magnitude 7.4 earthquake off the northeast coast — the same region devastated by a 2011 earthquake and tsunami — temporarily cut power to about 2 million homes, including hundreds of thousands in Tokyo.

The earthquake hit six thermal plants, knocking them out of operation in areas provided by Tepco and Tohoku Electric Power Co, and the damage could leave some of them inactive for weeks or even months, Hagiuda said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno urged residents of eastern Japan affected by the energy crisis to do their part.

“We ask for your cooperation, such as lowering your thermostats to around 20 degrees Celsius and turning off all unnecessary lights,” he told a news conference.

Source: CNN Brasil

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