With many dairy farmers in Hokkaido forced to dump thousands of liters of fresh milk following power outages and a scarcity of water triggered by the powerful earthquake on Sept. 6, local communities are trying to overcome the hardship by banding together.

"Because a milk shipment factory stopped operating due to the power outage after the quake, I had to throw away 4,000 liters of fresh milk that had been stored in cooler tanks," Takamitsu Igarashi, the owner of a dairy farm in the city of Tomakomai, said during an interview with The Japan Times on Tuesday.

Milk, which is around 30 degrees Celsius when extracted from dairy cows, has to be stored at temperatures under 5 degrees Celsius. Anything above that temperature would allow bacteria to spread inside storage tanks, making the milk undrinkable, Igarashi said.