Japan’s government is to allow some residents around the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to return to their homes to live for the first time since the March, 2011 disaster.
Tens of thousands of people were evacuated and a 20-kilometer (12-mile) exclusion zone declared around the plant after a devastating earthquake and tsunami triggered a reactor meltdown, the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986, causing high levels of radioactive contamination.
Once bustling communities in this pocket of eastern Japan were turned into ghost towns.
But on April 1, some 350 people from the Miyakoji district of Tamura city will be allowed to head back to their homes permanently, according to the country’s Reconstruction Agency. Some 31,000 people could eventually return home, it added.
The government says about 138,000 Fukushima residents are still living in temporary accommodation.