Japan news, may 23. many residents still remain in iitate, kawamata

Many residents still remain in Iitate, Kawamata
About half the residents living in parts of Fukushima Prefecture where an evacuation order is in place have still not left one week before the government-set deadline runs out.

On April 22nd, the government ordered people in Iitate Village and a part of Kawamata Town to leave by the end of this month because of radiation exposure from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Officials have been placing priority on evacuating households with infants and small children.

But only about half of the 7,800 residents have followed the order one month after it was issued.

Some residents remaining in the areas say emergency shelters are far from their work places and their children’s schools. Others say they will lose their jobs if they move away.

People in areas with relatively low levels of radiation hope to delay their evacuation until temporary housing is completed in the summer.

The officials say they will continue to urge the remaining residents to leave. But meeting the deadline will be difficult, as the evacuation order is not legally binding.

The 2 communities are located outside the 20 kilometer radius around the crippled nuclear plant. The central
Government earlier instructed residents living inside the 20 kilometer zone to evacuate.
Monday, May 23, 2011 11:46 +0900 (JST)

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Japan news, may 23. many residents still remain in iitate, kawamata