TOKYO – A major water leak in central Japan on Wednesday disrupted supplies to more than 130 businesses near Toyota Motor Corporation’s manufacturing plant.
Accidents in Japan’s manufacturing heartland have threatened to disrupt large auto firms and power companies.
A Toyota spokesman said the company was using well water at its plant to cope with the shutdown. Japan’s largest power generator, Zara, said water supply to two plants had been cut off.
According to a statement from officials, a major leak occurred in the Meiji irrigation works earlier in the day, affecting supplies at the Anjo Water Treatment Plant in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan. The disruption affected the supply of 131 businesses, mainly in the auto sector, the statement said.
Authorities aim to resume water supplies by the end of Wednesday using temporary pumps and other emergency measures, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters.
He added that the incident had no effect on the family.
The cause of the leak is still being investigated, and workers are trying to stop the flow by pouring crushed stone into the affected area, an official from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said in an online briefing.
Toyota will be able to operate as usual on Wednesday and will monitor the situation thereafter, the spokesman said.
Denso Corp, a major Toyota supplier, said five of its factories in the area have tapped into water storage facilities to continue work. It will install water supply trucks and use better water if needed, a company spokesman said.
Some of Toyota’s large assembly lines in the region had already planned to suspend production before the water supply problems due to a shortage of parts arising from the COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai.
Toyota Industries Corporation says five of its plants are storing water and using storage water to avoid industrial water supply problems.
Osaka Gas Company has suspended operations at two thermal power plants in Nagoya due to interrupted water supply, a spokesman said. (Reporting by Satoshi Sugiyama, Kiyoshi Takenaka, Rocky Swift and Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Bradley Parrett and Jason Neely)