While nearly a year has passed since Japan’s massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake, for the residents of Okuma town in Fukushima, radiation has kept the crisis a real, if not always, visible and present danger.
The Fukushima Daiichi Plant, on the coast 150 miles (240km) northeast of Tokyo, was wrecked by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, triggering reactor meltdowns and radiation leaks that caused mass evacuations and widespread contamination.
For the nearly 11,000 residents of the town, and nearly 80,000 people unable to return home due to high radiation across the prefecture, while many of their houses are physically intact the mental scars remain deep.
Returning to move cabinets from her home on her third trip back, 74-year-old Miyoko Takeda explained that she has been unable to function properly since being forced to leave everything behind.
“It’s like I have depression, I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I lost 8 kilograms and when I went to the doctor I threw up everything I took. Now I can’t sleep without medicine,” Takeda said.
Continue reading and watch video at Japan earthquake and tsunami anniversary: Fukushima homeless struggle with exile