SENDAI (Kyodo) An evacuation order in effect since a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit Iwate and Miyagi prefectures last June was lifted Wednesday.

This allowed most of the 300 residents in Kurihara — the worst-hit city in Miyagi — to move back into their homes.

Kurihara City Hall decided 245 people in 99 families could return because a second disaster is unlikely even if a nearby dam breaks, given disaster drills conducted with residents, city officials said.

Since the June 14 quake rocked the prefectures, 300 members of 120 families in the city have taken refuge at shelters and been allowed to return only for brief visits.

The city, however, kept the evacuation order in place for the Hanayama and other districts, affecting 55 people in 21 families.

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