Friday's 8.9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan is the country's worst disaster since World War II with thousands dead or missing and fears mounting due to a potential nuclear crisis. As the world rallies to help with relief efforts (click here for information on how you can help
), news is rippling through about aftershocks that are affecting entire industries, including home entertainment. Sony announced that all its operations in Japan have halted for an indeterminate length of time. The company has six factories—including one that manufactures Blu-ray Discs that was flooded—in Northern Japan, the area hardest hit by the natural disaster. Other companies still assessing damage include Panasonic, Epson, Sharp and Canon. No word yet on reopening, or what sort of effect this may have on BD production...stay tuned.