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Wednesday, 12th October 2016
In General Japan News,

Blackout plunges central Tokyo into darkness

A huge power blackout has plunged the whole of central Tokyo into darkness today (October 12th) and brought some services to a standstill.

More than 35,000 households were affected by the power failure, which occurred during the afternoon (local time).

Lifts in high-rise buildings stopped working and a number of trains ground to a halt for a short period, before the power was restored.

Homes in the districts of Chuo, Minato, Chiyoda and Toshima had no electricity for a duration of around ten minutes.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc (Tepco) is currently investigating the cause of the outage in order to ensure it is properly fixed and will not happen again.

It announced that a facility had been disrupted, but it is yet to be established whether this is related to the widespread blackout or if the problem stems from another source.

A Tepco facility in Niiza, Saitama Prefecture, was reported to be on fire by NHK, Nippon Hoso Kyokai (Japan Broadcasting Corporation).

Firefighters have been tackling the blaze and a video posted to Twitter of the incident shows thick black smoke and the severity of the situation.

An official from Niiza city said that cables had caught fire, resulting in the incineration of the facility and that residents should not venture outside and keep their windows closed.

Travellers negotiating their way around the train network with the help of the Norikaeannai app were updated by the service.

It said at 4.20pm (local time) that at least ten of the lines operated by Seibu Railway Co had suspended operation due to the power outage.

Now that the electricity has been restored, all services are returning to normal.