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Chiba power outages stretch into 4th day

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Pears knocked to the ground by strong winds are seen in Yachimata on Thursday.

The Yomiuri ShimbunAbout 336,300 households, mainly in Ichihara and Minamiboso in Chiba Prefecture, were still without electricity as of 9 a.m. Thursday due to Typhoon No. 15, TEPCO Power Grid, Inc. said Thursday morning.

Power was likely to be fully restored in the affected areas on Friday or later, the company said.

Electricity for about 30,000 households throughout Chiba, Yotsukaido, Inzai and parts of Ichihara, all in the prefecture, was likely to be fully restored Thursday, the utility said at a press conference in Tokyo.

About 11,000 people, including about 2,400 people from other power companies, are engaged in restoring power.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. initially planned to reduce the number of households experiencing outages to 120,000 by early Wednesday morning, and had aimed for full restoration by the end of the same day.

Thursday marked the fourth day since the massive power outages began. “I can’t stand it anymore,” said a resident struggling amid water stoppages as well as the lack of air-conditioning.

Many people staying in evacuation centers are complaining of health problems, keeping public health nurses busy.

The latest typhoon left many pears, one of the prefecture’s specialty products, fallen on the ground, a severe blow to Chiba Prefecture’s agriculture and forestry industry. As of Tuesday, damage had reached ¥12.6 billion in the prefecture — the largest amount to result from a typhoon in the past 10 years.

A special evacuation center mainly for people in poor health, expectant and nursing mothers, and people with disabilities was set up by the Kimitsu municipal government. A 50-year-old woman who lives in the city came to the center with her 88-year-old mother.

“Electricity and water are vital. We can’t live if they’re not restored quickly,” the woman said, looking weary.

As of 10 a.m. Thursday, 944 people were staying in 131 evacuation centers set up in the prefecture, according to the prefectural government.

In Yachimata, a 62-year-old farmer who grows pears and peanuts said: “I’ve never experienced such damage. I’m shocked because I put so much effort into growing them.” He stared at Niitaka pears 15 centimeters in diameter scattered on the ground.

Peanuts growing in other fields were also damaged as a result of being pulled up from underground. Two plastic greenhouses where agricultural equipment was stored collapsed after their frames bent.Speech

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