Japanese companies, including food-makers and convenience store chains, are rushing to provide relief supplies to people affected by a powerful earthquake that struck Ishikawa Prefecture and surrounding areas in central Japan on New Year's Day.

Convenience store chain Seven-Eleven Japan on Wednesday offered a total of 1,200 bottles of drinking water for free to the Ishikawa city of Nanao and the city of Himi in neighboring Toyama Prefecture.

Among other convenience store operators, Lawson is providing bread, drinking water, hand warmers and other goods while offering 5,400 energy bars to medical workers at a hospital in Nanao.

FamilyMart, another convenience store chain, was delivering rice balls to evacuation shelters in Ishikawa on Thursday after bread was provided on Wednesday.

The agriculture ministry has asked food-makers to procure supplies based on requests from disaster-hit prefectures. Nissin Foods Holdings offered cup noodles, while Yamazaki Baking provided 47,700 servings of bread. Deliveries of powdered milk and packed rice have also started, according to the ministry.

Deliveries of diapers and sanitary napkins began on Wednesday after the health ministry asked manufacturers to supply them.

Chubu Electric Power, Kansai Electric Power and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings have decided to send a total of 274 workers to help restore power supply in Ishikawa. About 30,000 households in the prefecture were out of power as of Thursday.

At a news conference on Wednesday, however, industry minister Ken Saito said it will take some more time to restore power supply as new power outages occurred due to aftershocks. About 70 gas stations also suspended operations.

Although fuel shipments have resumed, deliveries have not been done as usual due to traffic jams caused by the transportation of relief supplies, a ministry official said.