by IANS |
Tokyo, Aug 30 (IANS) An evacuation order in a town hosting Japan's disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was lifted on Tuesday, 11 years after the severe nuclear accident, with only a few former residents expected to return.
The mandatory evacuation order for the town hosting the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. complex was issued after a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami hit Japan's northeast on March 11, 2011, which caused core meltdowns at multiple nuclear reactors and made the area uninhabitable due to high levels of radiation, reports Xinhua news agency.
Futaba is the last municipality to see an evacuation order lifted among 11 municipalities subject to such orders following the quake-induced disaster, with the municipal government aiming to increase its population to 2,000 by around 2030.
Although residents are now allowed to return home, more than 80 per cent of Futaba's total land area remains designated as "difficult-to-return" zones.
The parts reopened for habitation are located in the town's previously downtown area and its northeast where many commercial and public facilities are situated.
In addition, a survey last year found that 60.5 per cent of the residents had decided not to return, outdistancing the 11.3 per cent who expressed a desire to return, Kyodo News reported.
As of late July, 3,574 people from 1,449 households, or over 60 per cent of the town's population, were registered as residents of the two areas.
But the number of residents who participated in a preparatory program started in January, allowing them to return temporarily, totalled just 85 people from 52 households, the report said.