Tuesday 18 June 2013

Tomioka 1

Tomioka Station - hit by the tsunami, deserted and overgrown
I had a visitor from England this last weekend. On Saturday we visited Tomioka in the disaster area. On Sunday, as an antidote, we travelled west to Aizu and saw people having a good time in the sunshine. But first let me show you what we saw in Tomioka, a deeply sad experience. 

Tomioka is just south of Fukushima Daiichi, where Fukushima Daini (Fukushima No.2 nuclear plant) is situated. The area was evacuated in March 2011 but since the reorganisation of the county on 25 March, the ban has been lifted in some parts. We travelled on the expressway as far as Hirono, and then onto Route 6, the north-south coast road. A few miles before the barricade into the no-go zone, we turned right towards the coast and Tomioka station. We saw no police, hardly any cars. It was a ghost town. One is inclined to say, 'Recovery? What recovery?' but I'll let the pictures tell the story.

Hirono thermal power station at the end of the expressway. It's been going great guns
since the nuclear plants were closed down. Things seemed normal here.
But pretty soon, deserted streets, damaged buildings.

Empty school. Bags of contaminated soil in the yard.
The new houses were OK but the old ones have had it.
Then onto the coast. 

Boat carried by the tsunami about half a mile inland
Tomioka Station with Fukushima Daini nuclear plant in the background. 

Outside Tomioka Station. 0.531 μSv/hour
- some parts of Koriyama are as high as this.
More in the next post.

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