Ripple effects from Japanese earthquake felt in Austin



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Posted on March 22, 2011 at 9:23 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 23 at 10:37 AM

The recent earthquake which rocked parts of Japan is causing ripples being felt in the Austin area. 

Local businesses which rely on products and merchandise from Japan are starting to see the earthquake’s impact.
“We've had to hold our prices firm because when we're out of cameras we might be out for a month or two, which is going to hurt everyone,” said Gregg Burger, the general manager of Precision Camera & Video in North Austin.
Burger says it’s not just Nikon cameras which are now becoming more scarce in the wake of the quake. So are memory cards for cameras, as well as lenses, flashes and other camera equipment. 
“What's done half way across the world affects us here. You don't think about it until all of a sudden it's like, 'Well wait a minute, why is that affecting me?’ Really, the entire world is affected by everybody now, I mean we're all one really,” said Burger.
Across town, the situation is not quite as dire at this point for food markets, who specialize  in Asian cuisine.
About 10 percent of all of the sales at MT Supermarket on North Lamar are Japanese products, from seaweed wraps to Tempura batter.
Pat Lee of MT Supermarket said Tuesday that prices on Japanese products haven’t gone up yet, but he thinks it’s just a matter of time.  However, when or by how much is anyone’s guess.
“A lot of times with these natural disasters it comes and goes really quick and it spikes and it drops. But I think this is going to be a longer period of time before it comes back down,” said Lee.

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