Japan expands nuclear evacuation zoneApril 22nd, 2011 - 8:41 pm ICT by BNO News
TOKYO (BNO NEWS) — The Japanese government on Friday expanded the evacuation zone beyond the 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) radius surrounding the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was established on Thursday.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano made the announcement just one day after the 20-kilometer zone was established that due to the high cumulative levels of radiation exposure. Around 10,500 residents from Iitate, Katsurao, Namie and some in Kawamata and Minamisoma in Fukushima Prefecture must leave by late May.
Edano had announced the government ban of entry by any resident to areas within 20 kilometers as of midnight Thursday, covering an off-limits zone of about 27,000 households in 9 municipalities.
Previously, Japan approved a 4 trillion yen ($48.89 billion) emergency budget to finance the early phase of reconstruction. The budget will be submitted to parliament next Thursday and is expected to be enacted in May. It would cover the costs of restoration work such as clearing rubble in northeastern Japan and building temporary housing for victims of the disaster.
However, some lawmakers and government officials have said the country’s emergency spending for the year through next March could total more than 10 trillion yen ($122 billion).
The devastating 9.0-magnitude and its resulting tsunami that struck March 11 has left at least 14,159 people killed, while some 13,000 people remain missing. Japanese officials have called it the worst crisis since the end of World War II.
The disaster damaged the nuclear station, disabling the cooling systems of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Radioactive elements leaked into the sea and were later found in water, air and food products in some parts of Japan.
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Tags: bno, chief cabinet secretary, edano, evacuation zone, fukushima, government ban, japanese government, japanese officials, kawamata, mile radius, namie, northeastern japan, nuclear plant, nuclear power plant, nuclear station, radiation exposure, radioactive elements, restoration work, water air, world war ii