National

With Typhoon Hagibis, over 300 households of 3/11 Fukushima evacuees endured 'double suffering'

Kyodo

At least 315 of the households evacuated after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis have suffered from flooding and other damage caused by Typhoon Hagibis, which hit central, eastern and northeastern parts of Japan last month, an analysis by Kyodo News has shown.

The tally found that some people in Fukushima Prefecture had endured “double suffering” from the two major calamities. The prefectural government and municipalities hosting evacuees have yet to assess the extent of the damage brought by the typhoon.

The analysis, released Saturday, was based on studies by seven municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture where evacuees lived prior to the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11, 2011, which caused core meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Evacuees who lived through the nuclear crisis expressed dismay at experiencing another calamity. “How could we suffer again?” one evacuee lamented.

According to the tally, 108 households that had previously evacuated from Tomioka, a town close to the nuclear plant, to Iwaki and Koriyama went on to have their homes flooded by the typhoon.

Cars belonging to 84 households from the town of Namie were submerged or sustained other damage, it said.

Municipalities hosting evacuees said they had not confirmed whether those hit hard by the typhoon had also been victims of the 2011 disaster. A Fukushima Prefectural Government official said the authority “has not specifically grasped” the situation, and that it “will have host municipalities respond to it.”

Funds extended to flood-hit evacuees by the various municipalities may vary depending on where they are living, the official said.

As of late October, about 10,000 people from areas affected by the 2011 disaster had evacuated to other parts of Fukushima Prefecture, according to the prefectural government.

Many former evacuees reside in Iwaki and Koriyama, cities that sustained serious damage in the recent typhoon-triggered floods.

As of Saturday, the typhoon had caused the deaths of 90 people in 13 prefectures and left five others missing, according to government data.

The Fukushima Prefectural Government is planning to accommodate some of those affected by Typhoon Hagibis in around 1,500 temporary homes that were constructed after the March 2011 earthquake disaster, many of which had been slated for dismantling after previous inhabitants moved into public housing.