About evacuation

The situation at 3.11

Approximately 120,000 people were forced to leave their homes because of the nuclear power plant accident.

According to the National Police Agency, the total number of refugees was 280,000; thus, 40% of the refugees had to evacuate because of the nuclear accident.

There were more refugees than expected, and several problems arose at the shelters as a result.
What kinds of problems were there?

For example, people could only use cardboard to make their own private spaces at shelters, and had nowhere to change their clothes. This problem was particular acute for women , who feared for their safety as they had to live amidst many strangers and had no locks on their doors.

(↑shelter at 3.11 Offer:Fukushima University Amano Kazuhiko,professor.)

And in some cases, women were directed to share the same space with men.
At this time, many people were tired and stressed from having to evacuate from their homes. To make matters worse, they had to face the stress of living with strangers, and it is thought that this had a very negative impact on their mental state.

Additionally, norovirus infections were rampant in the shelters. The norovirus can be transmitted very easily from person to person, and places like shelters where people lived in close quarters and unsanitary conditions were ideal for its propagation.

People died not only as a result of the earthquake and tsunami, but also because of causes such as psychological distress. For instance, some people committed suicide after experiencing the loss of family members. There were also many cases where people died from the stress of hard living conditions: such deaths were simply called "earthquake-related deaths".
According to Kazuhiko Amano, a professor at Fukushima University, "earthquake-related deaths" in Fukushima outnumbered deaths from the earthquake and tsunami.

However, as described below, efforts have been made to improve the situation at the shelters.

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