Tepco: Power Gradually Returning In Chiba Pref.

TEPCO: Power gradually returning in Chiba Pref.

Hundreds of thousands of homes in Japan are still suffering from power blackouts, four days after Monday's typhoon.

Tokyo Electric Power Company says the cities of Chiba, Yachiyo, Yotsukaido and Inzai and parts of Ichihara will have power restored by the end of Thursday.

However, the utility says electricity is unlikely to be restored fully to Chiba Prefecture before Friday at the earliest.

The region was hit hard when Typhoon Faxai made landfall early Monday.

The storm left 640,000 homes in Chiba Prefecture without electricity and as of 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, more than 310,000 were still waiting to be connected.

The extended blackout is the longest since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The utility says that 11,000 workers, including those from other power companies, are working to restore electricity.

Water supplies have also been hit. As temperatures soared this week, residents lined up for drinking water sent in Self-Defense Force tanks.

It's unclear how long it will take for water supplies to return to normal.