Japan’s Tepco struggles to restore power after typhoon


FILE PHOTO: Cars drive past during a blackout caused by Typhoon Faxai in Kisarazu, Chiba prefecture, Japan September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese utility Tokyo Electric Power said on Wednesday it has not been able to restore electricity to about 400,000 homes after outages caused by Typhoon Faxai, while media reported at least two people had died because they had no power.

Typhoon Faxai hit the capital and surrounding regions with destructive winds of up to 216 kph (134 mph) in the early hours of Monday, causing at least one death, damage, transport chaos and power outages.

National broadcaster NHK said two people in Chiba prefecture east of Tokyo died from heat-stroke due to a lack of power for air-conditioning, as temperatures rose sharply after the typhoon.

Tokyo Electric, Japan’s biggest power provider, usually referred to as Tepco, said plans to restore power to all households by Wednesday had been delayed because repairs were taking longer than expected and work had been held up by thunderstorms.

“We are making every effort to restore power as quickly as possible, but at current time it is unlikely that we will be able to restore power to all of these regions before the end of the day,” the company said in a statement.

About 400,000 households remain without power in Chiba prefecture, Tepco said. As many as 860,000 households were without power on Monday after the storm swept through, Tepco said earlier.

Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick and Junko Fujita; Editing by Michael Perry

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