Thursday, April 14, 2011

Concerned about the radiation, residents within 20 to 30 kilometer radius of the nuclear power plants temporarily back home

A firefighter in a protected gear at Kazuo Village, Fukushima Prefecture (afternoon of April 13, 2011)

More than half of the residents of 1500 in Kuzuo Village in Fukkushima Prefecture have been evacuated to another place and the village office was also relocated due to the accidents at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.  In the area within 20-30 kilometers radius of the nuclear power plant in this village is also designated as a “planned evacuation zone”, there found some residents who returned home temporarily though they are worrying about the amount of radiations on April 13, 2011.  There are also firefighters in protective clothing guarding the village.
            Around 9:30 AM, Ms. Hatsue Shimoeda (44) who is evacuated to Tamura City, Fukushima Prefecture
was looking into a radiation measuring instrument placed in front of the old village office building. She had a mask and a hood to protect herself.

“I come back home often for cleaning up, but I make sure first the amount of the radiation here,” she said.  After seeing the display of “1.01 micro sievert per hour”, she looked somehow relieved and got in  her car to head for home.

There were many dairy farmers and livestock breeders in this village, therefore many temporary returners were seen in overall, their work cloths. Cows in a barn were so thin that the bone stood out, because the owners must have evacuated and no one fed them.

In front of Kuzuo Branch Office of Namie Fire Department, several firefighters in protective clothes who just returned from patrol were being screened for radioactive materials on the cloths.  There are 27 firefighters working around the clock on two shifts to keep contacts with the relocated office and to secure the safety of the residents who remained.

One of the firefighters expressed, “To be honest, it is very stressful to work with worrying about the radiation. “ 

Iwate Nippo, April 13, 2011

Translated by Makiko Tajima Asano

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