Fukushima evacuees face arrest if they return home

Thursday, April 21, 2011
By Paul Martin

Justin McCurry
London Guardian
April 21, 2011

Tens of thousands of people who were evacuated from near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant risk arrest if they return home, after the government declared the area a no-entry zone due to high radiation levels.

Under the order, which goes into effect at midnight local time, people living within a 12-mile (20km) radius of the atomic plant will be given up to two hours to enter the area to collect belongings.

The move came amid concern over the long-term health risks posed by high levels of accumulated radiation, despite signs of progress in bringing the stricken facility under control.

The 245 workers currently battling stabilise Fukushima have fallen ill due to the harsh conditions inside the plant, experts warned.

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