Fukushima Daiichi: Evacuation Order Expanded
Towns Near Around Fukushima Daiichi Told to Evacuate
The Japanese government called on residents of towns outside the evacuation zone around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to leave their homes. The new evacuation order affects Katsurao, Kawamata, Namie, Iitate and parts of Minami Soma (part of which is already evacuated) .However, the exclusion zone itself has not been expanded.
Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said that things were stabilizing at Fukushima Daiichi, just before three aftershocks struck the region, forcing the workers at the plant to evacuate.
Residents of five other areas -- in Hirono, Kawauchi, Naraha and parts of Tamura to the south, and the rest of Minami Soma -- were told they should be prepared to clear out soon. Hirono and Kawauchi lie in the outer belt of the current zone, while Naraha and Tamura are beyond the current 30-kilometer radius.
The new evacuation order was not immediate, as the government seeks to downplay the threat of the expanded presence of potentially-dangerous radiation. Residents should evacuate within a month, Edano said.
Tepco has also been dumping low-level radioactive water back into the ocean, ostensibly to free space to store more highly-radioactive water. China and South Korea complained about the move.
Tokyo Electric Power Co, TEPCO, said 10,400 tonnes of low-level radioactive water, left by the tsunami, had been pumped back into the sea in order to free up storage capacity for highly contaminated water from the reactors.