TOKYO, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO) is continuing to grapple with blackouts near Tokyo in the wake of Typhoon Faxai which struck the region more than a week ago, with the utility saying it may take until the end of the month to fully restore power.
According to the power company Tuesday, more than 67,000 households are still without electricity in Chiba Prefecture and other affected areas, with TEPCO saying it could take until Sept. 27 to fully restore power to the grid.
Adding to the residents' woes, who are already contending with fluctuating weather conditions, including sweltering heat and chillier autumnal temperatures and intermittent downpours, TEPCO has said that when power is restored, there is a risk of fires breaking out.
This is as a result of damage caused to electric wires and residents, including seniors well into their 90s, are being asked to take the matter into their own hands by switching off their circuit breakers when they leave home.
Residents have been forced to suffer with the longest power outage since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, with TEPCO, also the operator of the still-stricken Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, coming under heavy fire from central and prefectural government officials for failing to step up their work efforts.
In addition, the utility has been lambasted for giving an overly optimistic view of their ability to deal with the crisis. TEPCO had initially said that it had hoped to restore power to areas suffering from blackouts on Sept. 11.
TEPCO's failings have been punctuated further by some residents in affected areas still suffering without water supply.
According to municipal officials in the affected areas, around 10,000 homes are still without running water.