Location of Iitate in Fukushima Prefecture
|• Total||230.13 km2 (88.85 sq mi)|
|• Density||30/km2 (77/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|Website||Village of Iitate|
On 22 April 2011, the Japanese government asked residents to leave Iitate due to radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. As of 2012, many residents are experiencing growing frustration and instability due to the nuclear crisis and an inability to return to the lives they were living before the disaster.
On 30 March 2011, the International Atomic Energy Agency stated that its operational criteria for evacuation were exceeded in Iitate, despite the village being outside the existing 30 kilometres (19 miles) radiation exclusion zone around the plant. The IAEA advised the Japanese authorities to carefully assess the situation there.
On 1 April 2011, it was reported that above statement was updated as "Radiation measured at a village 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Japan's crippled nuclear plant is falling by the day ... But while the amounts of radioactive iodine particles detected in the soil at Iitate village appeared to be declining from high levels, the overall situation at Fukushima remained very serious," with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano's comment "It would take more time than people think."
On 22 April 2011, the Japanese government asked residents to leave within a month. Some displaced children from the village were shunned after relocating for fear of contamination. In early June about 1,500 residents remained, By August only about 120 residents, mostly elderly, remained.
A survey by the Iitate local government obtained responses from some 1,743 people who have evacuated from the village, which lies within the emergency evacuation zone around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Plant. It shows that many residents are experiencing growing frustration and instability due to the nuclear crisis and an inability to return to the lives they were living before the disaster. Sixty percent of respondents stated that their health and the health of their families had deteriorated after evacuating, while 39.9 percent reported feeling more irritated compared to before the disaster.
Summarizing all responses to questions related to evacuees' current family status, one-third of all surveyed families live apart from their children, while 50.1 percent live away from other family members (including elderly parents) with whom they lived before the disaster. The survey also showed that 34.7 percent of the evacuees have suffered reductions in income of 50 percent or more since the outbreak of the nuclear disaster. A total of 36.8 percent reported a lack of sleep, while 17.9 percent reported smoking or drinking more than before they evacuated.
- Eric Talmadge (8 June 2011). "Japanese village's nuclear reality sets in slowly". Associated Press (Google). Retrieved 8 June 2011.
- "Evacuees of Fukushima village report split families, growing frustration". Mainichi Daily News. January 30, 2012.
- Sylvia Westall and Fredrik Dahl (30 March 2011). "High radiation outside Japan exclusion zone: IAEA". Reuters. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
- Fredrik Dahl and Michael Shields (1 April 2011). "UPDATE 2-Radiation eases in Japan village near no-go zone-IAEA". Reuters. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
- David McNeill (13 May 2011). "Fukushima village on way to becoming ghost town". Japan Times. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- "Japan evacuates residents beyond Fukushima no-go zone". BBC. 16 May 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- Yuka Hayashi (16 August 2011). "Murky Science Clouded Japan Nuclear Response". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
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