IWAKI, Fukushima Prefecture–Residents of the town of Naraha in Fukushima Prefecture will be allowed to return home permanently in early August since being evacuated after the 2011 nuclear disaster, although it’s unclear how many will.
The central government said June 17 that it will lift the mandatory evacuation order for Naraha before mid-August.
A month after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami triggered the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, almost the entire town was designated a no-entry zone, as was all the area extending 20 kilometers in radius from the crippled plant.
In August 2012, the town was redesignated a zone that was being prepared for the lifting of the evacuation order, one of the three categories that is assigned to areas with lower radiation levels.
But less than 10 percent of the 7,400 residents have registered with the temporary-stay program. They have expressed concerns over the slow progress in repair work for private homes and also the radiation levels in their hometown.
And a survey conducted by the Reconstruction Agency last November showed that only 45.7 percent of households in Naraha plan to return home once the evacuation order is lifted.
In the past, the central government has removed mandatory evacuation orders for residents of the Miyakoji district in the city of Tamura and eastern Kawauchi village in Fukushima Prefecture.