In addition to the continuous aftershocks, the fear of radiation exposure, and the great loss of life and property due to the earthquake and resulting tsunami, the people of Japan are dealing with rolling blackouts in nine prefectures due to the destruction of the Yukushima Power Plant. These prefectures include the city of Tokyo. Disruption of water and gas supplies is also a possibility due to the shortage of electricity. Homes and businesses lose power for about three hours at a time every day, according to The Japan Times Online. (The power outages are on a set schedule, which at least makes it possible to plan for them, as they are not unannounced as ours were recently here in Texas.)
Japan’s current power demand is 41 million kilowatts per day, but their remaining power plants are only able to provide about 31 million kilowatts per day, making the blackouts essential to prevent a sudden, large-scale blackout throughout the country.
Meanwhile a small company in Redmond, Washington, called Industrial Revolution, is helping to light up Japan’s nights by going into overdrive in the manufacturing of candle lanterns and shipping them by air instead of by sea, which normally takes about 45 days. Shipping by air puts the product in Japan within 72 hours. According to the Redmond Komo News online, the candle lanterns, which are normally sold for camping, have become hot items in Japan and are very much in demand. The company is scrambling to fill the orders as quickly as possible.