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Monday, March 21, 2011

Rain may force Tepco to cut power

Staff writer

Although scheduled weekend power outages were averted, rain may cause some in the Kanto region to spend a few hours of Monday's national holiday without electricity, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday.

Tepco Executive Vice President Takashi Fujimoto said there would be no blackouts Monday morning, but that there might be cuts in the afternoon. "There is a chance that demand for power may rise (Monday afternoon)," Fujimoto said, adding that the company will decide by noon whether to go ahead with blackouts.

Tepco projected that supply will match demand at 34 million kw between the peak time of 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, when rain is expected to increase the use of electrical appliances.

Tepco said it received about 7,200 calls Sunday from customers asking about the outages, with some complaining that their power was cut twice a day last week.

Rolling blackouts will start as scheduled between Tuesday and Friday, he said.

Meanwhile, Tepco said it is not planning to add Chiyoda, Chuo and Minato wards to the list of blackout areas in the capital because those central districts are home to key government offices and other important facilities.

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