Evacuated Fukushima town prepares to welcome residents back

DPA Tokyo | Updated on May 29, 2014 Published on May 29, 2014

A small Japanese town within the zone evacuated after the Fukushima nuclear disaster is making plans to welcome its residents back as early as next spring, its mayor said on Thursday.

About 7,500 residents of Naraha were evacuated the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused the Fukushima Daiichi power plant 10 km away to suffer a triple meltdown.

The town will set up an office for returnees and resume some operations on Sunday, Mayor Yukiei Matsumoto told reporters.

The Environment Ministry finished decontaminating the town’s houses and roads in March, with the gas and electricity supply restored almost completely in the area, the Kyodo News agency reported.

On April 1, the city of Tamura, around 40 km from the plant, allowed some residents home for the first time. But only 27 of the 355 residents affected have returned, a city official said.

Published on May 29, 2014
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