Anonymous Source: Community of 6,000 people were assumed to have evacuated from high radiation area… They had not — Eventually happened 3 months after meltdowns — Gov’t doctor came and said ok to eat local food — “Iitate, I think, is finished”

Published: March 18th, 2012 at 11:07 am ET


Title: Experts struggle to collect data in Fukushima
Source: Al Jazeera
Author: D. Parvaz
Date: March 17, 2012

  • 6,000 residents of Iitate village
  • One of the village’s former residents (now evacuated), who did not want to be named, said that Tweets sent out shortly after the explosions at the plant indicated that it was assumed that the village had already been evacuated
  • It had not
  • Younger residents in Iitate [tweeted] appeals for media coverage
  • [The unnamed resident] said from March 15 to 18, they were seeing media reports of high radiation in the area
  • Gov’t, which many older members of the community trusted, kept saying that everything was “fine”

Iitate Diary

A diary created by a community group obtained by Al Jazeera includes a timeline of official communication with the village. It shows that, starting March 25 – ten days after the third explosion – the government sent a doctor to speak with residents, telling residents there was no reason for concern.

“Not only did he not say that there wasn’t a problem, he also told us we could eat local produce,” said the former Iitate resident. Then [Shunichi Yamashita] came to Iitate and told people that there was no evidence that being exposed to up to 100mSv in a year was harmful.


  • Near the end of March, officials also told Iitate residents that schools would be re-opened
  • They hinted on April 11 that they were considering evacuating the village
  • Formal recommendation to evacuate Iitate did not come until April 22 – five weeks after
  • It took authorities about three months to evacuate the village

Former Resident on Iitate’s Future

  • “Gov’t will no doubt try to create some industry there, so that they will continue to get funding from the (national) government”
  • “But Iitate, I think, is finished”

Read the report here

Published: March 18th, 2012 at 11:07 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Economist: “Enormous spread of radiation” — Levels so high in hills of Iitate that locals dare not go near — 150 millisieverts/yr outside official’s home October 7, 2011
  2. “Highest Level Yet”: Soaring cesium level in Iitate soil, survey finds — So radioactive it would have to be buried in ferroconcrete partitions -Kyodo March 19, 2012
  3. Reuters: Gov’t says biggest radiation dose was OUTSIDE exclusion zone — 19 millisievert average in Iitate — May be even higher December 13, 2011
  4. Tearful Fukushima Resident: “What has happened to us psychologically, physically, financially is truly unimaginable” (VIDEO) June 24, 2012
  5. Gov’t nuclear adviser “flabbergasted” that Japan failed to distribute iodine pills after meltdowns September 29, 2011

24 comments to Anonymous Source: Community of 6,000 people were assumed to have evacuated from high radiation area… They had not — Eventually happened 3 months after meltdowns — Gov’t doctor came and said ok to eat local food — “Iitate, I think, is finished”

  • HoTaters HoTaters

    Some of the best journalistic coverage to date. Right up there, IMHO, with the best from people like Karl Grossman, Paul Zimmerman, Beyond Nuclear. So nice to see the real issues being discussed in depth! Pretty amazing that you have to go to a Saudi Arabian news agency to find real investigative journalism alive and kicking ….

    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      Sorry! Al Jazeera is not a Saudi sponsored site. It is in Qatar, Doha, Qatar. Don't confuse one ME country with another. They can be, and are, quite different.

  • Strange that the most reliable & informative sources these days are:

    Russia Today (Russia)
    PressTV (Iran)
    Al Jazeera (Saudi Arabia) (Vancouver)
    private websites,blogs

    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      I agree that these are the most reliable sources, but (as I said in answer to HoTaters above) Al Jazeera does not come out of Saudi Arabia. It is from Qatar.

  • bigfatscaryman sdyogini

    Hmmmm…interesting, think this might be happening in US? All over the world,eh…probably right her in San Diego right about now.

  • WindorSolarPlease

    We know people were not evacuated to the extent that should have happened.

    People were not told the truth.

    This is also happening in North America

    There is to many to protect, so they will just protect themselves.

    They will create an illusion for us, that all is ok.

    News Flash…Things Are Not Ok…

    Do the Math-
    Radiation Disaster + People = Not Good

  • sonnen.blum.239 sonnen.blum.239

    Although I was first irradiated as a young teenager, I am now 61. I test my food and environment for alpha, beta, gamma radiation. Because neither health officials (they were the first ones to irradiate youthful males in Appalachia in the 50's and 60's), nor government (covering up waves of radiation from leaking NPPs and storage facilities), nor big business / military/pharmaceuthical industries will want to cpmpromise their profits. NPPs are about macking the development of weapons, period. NNP provide a limited amount of energy at a higher than any other source cost, with lasting problems projecting into the billions of years from now.

    Yes, things are not okay. But I still ambulate, work, have all my head hair (none on the body) and have radiation caused diabetes and heart issues. Things are not okay.

  • bleep_hits_blades


    Have you already talked about this irradiation of young males in Appalachia in the '50s & '60s and I missed it?

    I would be interested to hear more about that.

  • Gotham

    <b>Eating Local Food</b>

    Check out how difficult it is to "certify" radiation levels in fish. Easy to cheat. Same for produce. Buyer BEWARE! Read the following page…

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    ex-SKF mirrors my feelings on this Poll:

    RT @EXSKF Kyodo News: 32% of School Children in Fukushima Worry About Radiation, 61% Don't: From Kyodo News (3/18/2012):東京…
    Kyodo News calls it "mixed feeling", but looking at the numbers it doesn't seem mixed. Nearly twice as many students say they don't care. There is no poll to compare that was taken PRIOR to the accident, so there is no knowing what percentage of students had feared radiation prior to the accident.

    From what I hear, people who have remained inside Fukushima are doubling down, so to speak, more than ever determined to live a normal (i.e. pre-nuke accident) life.

    Dr. Shunichi Yamashita seems to have succeeded in securing his research subjects.

    If you haven't seen the BBC documentary on children in Fukushima, please do so. The title of the documentary is "Japan's Children of the Tsunami". (found it)

    It's not the matter of whether they worry about radiation or not. It is about whether it is right for any adults to keep these children, looking healthy and well-adjusted for the most part in the BBC documentary, TRAPPED IN FUKUSHIMA.

  • Grampybone Grampybone

    100mSv is no big deal don't worry about your kids. Black soot is going to melt your shoes, put lumps on your brains, break your back, shake those chains. Put down your pride put down your shame it's time you got out of the smoldering ashes of deceit. Japan citizens gotta get out of there on their own will now with no help. No human should have to endure that level of exposure without having the right to protest.

  • dear jones

    100mSv is no big deal as far as you are not there.

  • dear jones

    Where is UN who away said they want to protect children ?????