You can't have a 9.0 magnitude earthquake without breaking a few factories, particularly ones that produce fragile liquid crystal screens, and this week Toshiba, Hitachi and Panasonic are each reporting damages that have forced them to close LCD production facilities affected by the tsunami and quake. Panasonic isn't sure when its plant in Chiba prefecture might resume carving up the glass sandwiches, telling Bloomberg that "there has been some damage, though not a fire or a collapse," but both Hitachi and Toshiba will reportedly halt some assembly lines for around a month to deal with damages. It's probably still too soon to talk about panel shortages -- though they seem likely soon -- but we'll let you know how things progress.

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Toshiba and Hitachi LCD plants damaged, will shut down for a month