Japanese have fun on the beach at Fukushima

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For the first time since the Super-GAU of Fukushima people were allowed to stay at Hitaizumi Beach in Japan again. It is 25 kilometres away from the power station.

Splashing children in the surf and surfers waiting for the next wave: For the first time since the reactor catastrophe more than eight years ago, a beach in the Japanese prefecture of Fukushima has been released again. Many people enjoyed themselves on Saturday at Hitaizumi Beach in the city of Minamisoma in the Pacific Ocean floods, only about 25 kilometers away from the nuclear ruin.

“I grew up here with a view of the sea. Coming back for the first time (…) awakens a sense of nostalgia,” said Japanese Sayaka Mori to Kyodo news agency as she walked along the beach with her husband and three children. Her house, which was close to the beach, had been torn away by the tsunami in 2011.

The 9.0 magnitude earthquake and the tsunami of 11 March 2011 devastated large parts of the Japanese coast, killing 18,500 people. At the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, reactors 1 to 3 were destroyed and core meltdowns occurred. Due to the radioactive radiation, around 160,000 residents had to flee. (dpa)

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Mette Frederiksen is a The Washington Newsday correspondent. With her coverage of general science, NASA and the interface between technology and society, Frederiksen has been in the Science Desk's Technology Beat since joining Washington Newsday in 2018.

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