An already challenging environment for forecasting future product flow from Japan only seems to grow more difficult as aftershocks slow relief and rebuilding efforts. As of Tuesday, 61 aftershocks with a magnitude of 6.0 or more have struck northern or central Japan since March 11’s 9.0 quake. Read more
These aftershocks are resulting in slower than expected progress in some efforts to restore plants to partial or full production.
- The strongest aftershock, on April 7, caused blackouts in four million homes and plants in six prefectures “The aftershock and the subsequent power outages halted already-recovered plant operations, as well as recovery work [and] required checking structures and equipment for possible damage in every semiconductor/electronics facility in Tohoku District.” View update
- Eastern Japan is experiencing frequent small aftershocks with larger quakes predicted by the Japan Meteorological Agency for the area in the near future - which could be weeks or months away.
- Some experts are saying that the extensive repair and rebuilding work required to restore power production could mean that rolling blackouts may last for up to five years. View update
The hurdles presented by aftershocks and their impact on Japan's efforts to rebuild will make continued monitoring of the status of semiconductor and electronics manufacturers in Japan vital to assessing the health of the global supply chain.