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Japan faces food and power shortages

Monday, March 14, 2011 - 01:45

Mar 14 - Japan faces uncertainty over food and energy supplies in the wake of Friday's devastating quake and tsunami, as the threat of a nuclear crisis continues. Dan Sloan reports.

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Japanese outside the disaster zone faced confusion and uncertainty Monday over food and energy supplies in the wake of Friday's devastating quake and tsunami, eyeing a nuclear crisis that showed no signs of abating. Some store shelves remained empty and many train lines were shut down as commuters returned to work after a weekend glued to horrific images of the extensive damage about 240 kms north. The mood was 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. Tokyo Electric Power said early Monday 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. 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. Prime Minister Naoto Kan has called this Japan's worst crisis since World War II, urging Japanese to endure the longer gas lines, food shortages and even rolling black outs as a way to ensure recovery. Dan Sloan, Reuters Tokyo

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Japan faces food and power shortages

Monday, March 14, 2011 - 01:45