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Friday, April 22, 2011

Japan : Gov't seals off no-go zone around nuclear plant

From Japan Today, excerpt :

" FUTABA : The government sealed off a wide area around a radiation-spewing nuclear power plant on Friday to prevent tens of thousands of residents from sneaking back to the homes they quickly evacuated, some with little more than a credit card and the clothes on their backs.

Fearing they might not see their homes again for months, evacuees raced into the deserted towns Thursday before the ban took effect to grab whatever belongings they could cram into their cars.

“This is our last chance, but we aren’t going to stay long. We are just getting what we need and getting out,” said Kiyoshi Kitajima, an X-ray technician, who dashed to his hospital in Futaba, a town next door to the plant, to collect equipment before the order took effect at midnight.

Nearly 80,000 people have been evacuated from a 20-kilometer zone around the Fukushima Daiichi plant after an earthquake and a tsunami destroyed its power and cooling systems on March 11. The order had no teeth, however, and people began increasingly returning to check on the remains of their lives. Some had stayed all along.

With ongoing concerns about radiation exposure—as well as theft in the mainly deserted zone—government officials imposed the formal closure barring anyone from entering the area."

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