Evacuation advisory lifted for part of Fukushima village of Kawauchi

JIJI

The government lifted its evacuation advisory Wednesday for the eastern part of Kawauchi, which is located within 20 km of Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The eastern Kawauchi area became the second place to see the advisory lifted in the former no-go zone set up in Fukushima Prefecture after the start of the triple meltdown at the Tepco power plant, triggered by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The advisory for the Miyakoji district of Tamura, in the same prefecture, was removed in April.

The restricted residential area in Kawauchi was also realigned as a zone preparing for the evacuation advisory to be lifted.

About 275 residents from 139 families will be affected by the advisory’s lifting, while the zone realignment will affect 54 residents from 18 families, according to data as of June 1.

Only those who have been temporarily living in their own houses under a long-stay program for the preparation zone are expected to make a swift return. The number of such people totaled 48, from 22 families, as of Thursday. The other residents would likely refrain from returning home soon, partly because living conditions remain difficult.

The central government and the municipal government of Kawauchi plan to invite supermarket operators to open stores by the end of next March.

In April 2012, the eastern Kawauchi area, which had been part of the no-go zone within a 20-km radius of the crippled nuclear plant, was realigned into preparation and restricted residential zones, depending on radiation levels.

In both zones, displaced residents were allowed to visit their homes during the daytime. But on April 26 of this year, residents in the preparation zone were allowed to stay there for three months, which the government attributed to progress in decontamination work.