SENDAI – The populations of three northeastern prefectures hit hard by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami logged declines in the 2015 national census, preliminary results of the survey conducted every five years showed Tuesday.
As of Oct. 1 last year, the populations dropped 5.7 percent in Fukushima, 3.8 percent in Iwate and 0.6 percent in Miyagi compared with the previous 2010 census due to a large number of deaths from the disaster and the continued outflow of residents amid slow reconstruction.
In Fukushima, the populations dropped to zero in four towns that were designated as no-go zones near the crippled nuclear plant amid the crisis. The four are Namie, Futaba, Okuma and Tomioka.
In the town of Naraha and the village of Kawauchi, to which evacuation orders have been issued, the populations dived 87.3 percent and 28.3 percent, respectively.
In Iwate, all 12 coastal municipalities registered population declines. Of them, the town of Otsuchi saw a 23.2 percent drop, the largest among them.
In all of Miyagi Prefecture, both the population decrease of 13,950 and the drop rate of 0.6 percent were the biggest on record. The populations of 14 coastal municipalities in Miyagi as well as Miyagino and Wakabayashi wards in Sendai on the Pacific coast recorded a 3.5 percent decline in total.
In the Miyagi towns of Onagawa and Minamisanriku, which were devastated by the disaster, the populations plunged 37.0 percent and 29.0 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, the city of Sendai saw a 3.5 percent increase in its population to a record 1,082,185, as it served as a base for reconstruction work and accepted many evacuees.
In the city of Iwanuma, where housing was smoothly supplied to disaster victims, the population rose 1.2 percent.