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Quake hits car, electronics factories in northern Japan

Earth and sand from a landslide caused by an earthquake run down to a dam in Kurihara, Miyagi prefecture, on June 14, 2008. A powerful earthquake struck northern Japan killing three people, injuring more than 100. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) June 15, 2008
Operations at a number of Japanese car and electronics makers remained suspended on Sunday as companies tried to repair damage from a powerful earthquake, officials said.

Kanto Auto Works Ltd., a unit of Toyota Motor Corp., was inspecting production lines a day after its factory in northern Iwate prefecture was damaged by the quake, which killed six people and triggered massive landslides.

One employee was injured after vehicle frames hanging on assembly lines fell to the floor of the factory, which produces some 27,000 vehicles a month.

"We are still assessing the damage as right now we're rushing to recover. We hope to resume operations as early as Monday," said Shigeru Hanaki, a spokesman for the company.

Production lines of computer maker Fujitsu Ltd.'s semiconductor unit were damaged at its factory in Iwate, a spokesman said, adding: "It is still unknown when we can resume operations."

Electronics parts factories affiliated with Sony Corp. in northern Japan automatically shut down some of their manufacturing lines following the jolt, company officials said.

While operations resumed at several of the factories of the electronics giant, a plant of Sony Chemical and Information Device in Kurihara, one of the hardest-hit towns, was still repairing damage, officials said.

Major supermarket chain operator Aeon Co. said it temporarily closed three outlets in the region as products fell off shelves but had resumed operations by late Saturday.

Sapporo Breweries Ltd. said water leaked from a brewery tank damaged by the earthquake. "We are hurriedly repairing the tank and aim to resume operation on Tuesday," a factory official said.

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China's quake homeless endure with stoicism
Mianzhu, China (AFP) June 12, 2008
His home destroyed and future uncertain, 51-year-old welder Jiang Cheng would seem to be at his lowest ebb as he swelters in a camp for those displaced by China's earthquake.

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