• Hokkaido earthquake cuts power entirely and kills at least 44

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

An earthquake that struck the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido has led to at least 44 deaths and power shortages across the island. Hokkaido Electric Power Co’s 1,650 MW Tomato-Atsuma coal-fired plant, which supplies almost half of the island’s electricity, suffered a fire in the turbine of its fourth unit and boiler damage to its first and second units, which required a week to repair. The company’s smaller coal-fired Sunagawa (250 MW) and Naie (350 MW) plants were also put out of operation for a short period, as were its oil-fired Date (700 MW) and Shiriuchi (700 MW) plants, as well as 300 MW worth of hydropower generation capacity. For a period, power was lost across the entire island, the first time since 1951, but Hokkaido Electric Power can be proud that it restored 3.95 GW of power generation in around a week following the 6.6 magnitude quake.