38,000 Remain Evacuated 11 Years after March 11 Disaster

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, March 10 (Jiji Press)--A total of 38,139 people were still evacuated from their homes as of Feb. 8, as Japan marks the 11th anniversary on Friday of a massive earthquake and tsunami that struck mainly the Tohoku northeastern region.

Evacuation orders still remain in place for some areas in Fukushima Prefecture after the earthquake and tsunami triggered the country's worst-ever nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 plant, preventing locals from returning to their hometowns.

The death toll from the March 11, 2011, disaster stands at 15,900, and 2,523 people remain unaccounted for, according to the National Police Agency.

The number of deaths due to related causes, such as worsening of injuries suffered in the disaster, stood at 3,784 at the end of September last year, according to the Reconstruction Agency.

In Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, the three prefectures hit hardest by the disaster, ceremonies sponsored by local governments will be held on Friday to remember the victims. People will offer silent prayers at 2:46 p.m. (5:46 a.m. GMT), the exact time when the 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press