Toyota resumes production in Japan post quakes

Tokyo, April 25 (IANS) Japanese automobile giant Toyota Motor restarted production in several factories in Japan on Monday after they were halted due to powerful earthquakes that struck the southeastern part of the country.

Toyota has 30 production lines in the country and operations were restarted on five production lines, out of the 26 that were closed due to the quakes, the company said in a statement.

The automaker is expected to resume operations in a total of 18 production lines by Thursday, although it has not yet decided if it will restart production in the plants located in Kyushu, the island hit by the earthquakes, EFE news reported.

Toyota was forced to halt production in most of its plants in the country due to shortages of components manufactured by suppliers near the Kumamoto and Oita prefectures, which were the worst affected in the quakes.

The temporary halt in operations of the 26 assembly lines had affected the production of around 80,000 units.

The tremors, the worst since the earthquake that led to the devastating tsunami of March 2011, still affect transport and communications in several parts of Kumamoto and Oita, and have also led to the closure of factories of other Japanese and foreign companies.

The first of the two most powerful earthquakes of 6.5 magnitude hit the area on April 14, while another one of 7.3 magnitude occurred on April 16, causing buildings to collapse and landslides.

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