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Sep 11, 2015

More Japanese rivers overflow bringing further floods, 23 missing

JOSO, Japan (Reuters) – Floods that swept houses off foundations and crushed them under landslides spread across Japan on Friday as more rivers burst their banks, leaving at least 23 people missing and forcing more than 100,000 to flee.

A severe rain warning remained in effect for parts of northern Japan but floodwaters were slowly retreating in the worst-hit city of Joso after washing houses away, sometimes with their owners still inside, in scenes reminiscent of a tsunami.

Sep 11, 2015

More Japan rivers burst banks triggering further floods, 23 missing

JOSO, Japan, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Floods that swept houses
off their foundations and crushed others under landslides spread
across Japan on Friday as more rivers burst their banks, leaving
at least 23 people missing – including two children – and
forcing more than 100,000 to flee.

A severe rain warning remained in effect for parts of
northern Japan but floodwaters were slowly retreating in the
worst-hit city of Joso after toppling trees and washing houses
away, sometimes with their owners still inside.

Sep 11, 2015

Japan rivers burst their banks triggering further floods, 25 missing

JOSO, Japan, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Floods that swept houses
off their foundations and crushed others under landslides spread
across Japan on Friday as more rivers burst their banks, leaving
at least 25 people missing and forcing more than 100,000 to
flee.

A severe rain warning remained in effect for parts of
northern Japan but floodwaters were retreating in the city of
Joso after toppling trees and washing houses away, sometimes
with their owners still inside.

Sep 11, 2015

More than 100,000 flee floods in Japan after ‘once-in-50-years’ rain

JOSO, Japan (Reuters) – Unprecedented rain in Japan unleashed heavy floods on Friday that tore houses from their foundations, uprooted trees and forced more than 100,000 people from their homes.

Helicopters hovering over swirling, muddy waters rescued many people from the roofs of their homes. Seven people were missing and at least 17 were injured, one seriously.

Sep 10, 2015

Japan evacuates 100,000 in floods sparked by rare torrential rains

JOSO, Japan (Reuters) – Japan evacuated about 100,000 people from their homes on Thursday, after rare torrential rains unleashed floods that left at least two people missing and stranded many more when rivers surged over their banks.

A further 800,000 people across eastern Japan have been advised to evacuate after officials issued pre-dawn warnings of unusually harsh rainfall to 5 million people.

Aug 10, 2015

Japan to restart reactor in test of Abe’s nuclear policy

TOKYO/SATSUMASENDAI (Reuters) – Japan is due to switch on a nuclear reactor for the first time in nearly two years on Tuesday, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks to reassure a nervous public that tougher standards mean the sector is now safe after the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

Abe and much of Japanese industry want reactors to be restarted to cut fuel imports, but opinion polls show a majority of the public oppose the move after the nuclear crisis triggered by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

Aug 29, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

The quiet of a nuclear beach

Photo

Iwaki, Japan

By Issei Kato

“I have to arrive at the beach before it starts raining.” This is what I was thinking as I drove up to the Fukushima coast, less than 35 km (21 miles) from the crippled nuclear plant. Because the weather forecast said it was going to rain in the region, I had packed a waterproof kit for my camera and beach gear so I could be ready to photograph the beach.

Iwaki city, located just 40 km (24 miles) south of the plant, had declared nearby Yotsukura beach open to the public this summer, the first time since a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear crisis at Tokyo Electric Power’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. But, during the period between July 15 and August 18, when the beach was open to the public, the operator of the plant admitted that contaminated water was leaking out to the ocean. Government officials said 300 tonnes of radioactive water was probably flowing out to the sea every day.

May 30, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

Fishing in Fukushima

Photo

Hirono town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan

By Issei Kato

After some tough negotiations with local fishermen cooperatives I was allowed on board a fishing boat sailing out to check fish radioactive contamination levels in waters off the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Commercial fishing has been banned near the tsunami-crippled complex since the March 11, 2011 tsunami and earthquake disaster. The only fishing that still goes on is tied to contamination research carried out by small-scale fishermen contracted by the government. The fishermen set out to sea every two weeks remembering the good old days, as they seek to reestablish their livelihoods and anxiously hope they will be able to go back to full-time fishing again.

I began thinking about the best way to take as many versatile pictures as possible in a tough environment – on a tiny boat which is slippery and keeps rocking back and forth with waves of water splashing all over the bouncing deck. I was told that the fishermen were going to use gill nets which take up quite a bit of space on the deck. This spelled out more dangers and obstacles for my equipment and I, as I knew I would have to try hard not to get caught up in the nets or trip up and fall into the sea. I was worried that had I stepped on one of the nets I would get scolded by a gruff fishermen and the whole effort would be in vein because of my own thoughtlessness.

Mar 7, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

Destination Fukushima: Two years on

Photo

Fukushima, Japan

By Issei Kato

“Let’s put our hearts together and keep going, Fukushima!” reads a large banner that hangs across a large steel structure that stands next to the No. 4 reactor building at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The plant was overwhelmed by a massive tsunami and earthquake two years ago, triggering hydrogen explosions and a nuclear meltdown.

Feb 22, 2012
via Photographers' Blog

A visit to Fukushima Ground Zero

Photo

By Issei Kato

“This day finally came.”

That was my first impression when I was chosen as a pool photographer on behalf of foreign media based in Japan to visit the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

We were allowed to enter the plant last Monday, ahead of Japan’s one-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami, which triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl. The media tour was the first to take place since the Japanese government announced in December that reactors at the plant had reached a stage of cold shutdown. We were allowed to cover not just from inside a bus, but from a certain outlying spot close to a reactor building for 15 minutes.