Sony said it had to close the company's image sensor production facility in Kyushu Island for an indefinite period following the huge earthquake that hit the southern Japanese island.

It added that operations at its second image sensor plant based in Nagasaki will have to be partially suspended although plans of restoring the operations remain undetermined.

On April 14, Japan's Kumamoto prefecture was jolted by a huge earthquake that measured 6.4 on the Richter scale. Two days later, a more powerful earthquake with a 7.3 magnitude hit the same area. A tsunami advisory followed thereafter, coupled with a number of strong aftershocks.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the earthquake on April 16 was the main shock while the tremor that hit on Thursday evening was only a precursor.

Sony, along with other companies such as Mitsubishi Electric and chip-maker Renesas, are among those that have factories in the area that were affected by the earthquakes.

As a result, Sony decided to suspend work at its Kumamoto facility, where it produces digital image sensors that are found in today's cameras and smartphones. One of the companies that Sony caters to with its sensors is Apple, as it equips its iPhones with Sony image sensors.

Sony currently holds around 40 percent of the market for CMOS image sensors. CMOS is a type of integrated circuit built around the technology of converting light into electric signals. In simpler terms, this type of sensors is used in smartphones for converting images into digital content.

Sony has some remaining supply for now, but it remains to be seen whether halting work at its Kumamoto facility will have a more negative impact on its CMOS production schedules for the future.

"We are not expecting any immediate supply disruption as we have some inventories right now. We will make an announcement promptly if any supply issues emerge," said a Sony spokesperson in a statement to Reuters.

He added that Sony planned to start operating again as soon as the aftershocks ended. The company is still checking for damages and the extent of such to the plants which, according to the spokesperson, have a daily operation schedule of 24 hours.

Over the past two decades, the island of Kyushu has become a manufacturing hub and now accounts for around 25 percent of the country's semiconductor production.

Automakers in the area also halted operations in the aftermath of the earthquake. These include Honda Motor Co, Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co.

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