Several mainstream media reports indicate the powerful earthquake which struck northern Japan on Monday has caused disruption to communications services in the country. The earthquake struck just off the coast of Niigata prefecture, the magnitude 6.8 quake registered an intensity of 6+ on Japan’s scale of 0 to 7, in three locations. As a result of the temblor major telecommunications carriers have imposed restrictions on phone calls into and out of the affected area.
NTT East Corp., the major fixed-line provider in the area, has activated its “disaster dial 171″ service that allows people in the area to leave voicemail messages that can be checked by those in the rest of the country.
The earthquake damaged 93 wireless-communications base stations operated by Softbank. The damage disrupted part of the company’s wireless services in Niigata and Nagano, said Katsuhide Furuya, a Softbank Mobile Corp. spokesman.