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Fukushima shores combed for traces of missing from disaster, bone pieces found

12 February 2017

Police officers and other searchers combed coastal areas in Fukushima Prefecture for traces of people missing in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami on Feb. 11, a month ahead of the sixth anniversary of the disaster that led to the nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant.

About 180 people took part in the search, including those from the Fukushima Prefectural Police, related police stations and a local fire department covering the Futaba region. In the district of Ukedo in Namie town, searchers filtered soil dug up by heavy-duty machines for clues to human remains. The district has been evacuated since the nuclear disaster.

According to the prefectural police department’s disaster management section, three pieces of what appeared to be human bone were discovered in Tomioka town. A seal and a driver’s license were unearthed in the Ukedo district.

(Translated by Kyodo News)

12 February 2017

Quake legacy exhibition opens at Fukushima Museum with some 100 items on show

A special exhibition featuring memorabilia from the Great East Japan Earthquake opened at the Fukushima Museum in Aizuwakamatsu city, Fukushima Prefecture, for a two-month run on Feb. 11, just a month before the sixth anniversary of the 2011 disaster. The fair is titled "Shinsai-isan-ten ~ Roppon-no-nenrin (earthquake legacy exhibition ~ six annual growth rings)."

On exhibit at the prefectural museum are some 100 items which are put on display for the first time for the exhibition. They include a portion of a pair of rails on the Joban Line, twisted by massive tsunami stemming from the quake, and part of a large cedar tree from the compounds of Watatsumi Shrine in Iitate village. The tree was cut down in a decontamination operation following the nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi plant caused by the quake and tsunami.

Also shown for the first time are images of damaged facilities at 15 locations, such as a Namie Junior High School gymnasium and Ukedo fishing port, photographed by an omnidirectional camera and shown on a tablet screen. The exhibit is titled “Shinsai-iko (earthquake relics) 360 Degrees.”

The admission-free exhibition will continue until April 11. The museum is closed on Mondays and, when Monday falls on a national holiday, the following day. It is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For inquiries, call the museum at 0242-28-6000.

(Translated by Kyodo News)

11 February 2017

Tomioka town to have medical services available for 6 days a week from April

The wholly evacuated town of Tomioka in Fukushima Prefecture is set to have medical services available for six days a week from April in line with the central government's plan to have an evacuation order lifted in parts of the town except in a "difficult to return" zone on April 1. A municipal clinic will increase its service days from three to five, and a hospital will reopen in the town where evacuees are now allowed to temporarily stay at their homes to prepare for a permanent return.

In October last year, Tomioka Clinic opened on a limited basis, offering medical services for three days a week -- on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It will add Tuesdays and Wednesdays in April. The municipal clinic, headed by Satoshi Imamura who had his own clinic in the town before the 2011 nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant, is served by a part-time doctor on the second and fourth Saturday. The duo will be joined by Akira Isaka, who heads Tomioka Central Hospital, enabling the clinic to have three doctors to see patients for five days a week.

Furthermore, Isaka will also begin seeing patients at his hospital for three days a week -- Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays -- from April 10. As a result, the town will have medical services for six days a week, except Sundays and national holidays, with the two institutions.

(Translated by Kyodo News)

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