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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

August 10, 2015

Efforts to improve nuclear plant evacuation roads



Aug. 10, 2015 - Updated 11:57 UTC+2

Some residents near the nuclear power plant in Satsumasendai City in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, are questioning the feasibility of evacuation plans drawn up by local communities.

9 towns and cities within 30 kilometers of the plant have already drawn up evacuation plans for their residents. But some of the roads designated as evacuation routes have problems.

In Takae Town, a prefectural highway turns into a single-lane road with narrow sections where there are no sidewalks. Other sections are close to the mouth of a river and the sea and could be flooded in the event of tsunami.
An NHK survey shows that 6 of the 9 municipalities have acknowledged problems including traffic jams that might occur during evacuations.

The prefectural government of Kagoshima has started repair work such as widening roads and reinforcing embankments at 11 sections of such routes. However, the work is expected to take 7 to 8 years to complete.

Some municipal offices are improving forestry roads that can be used for evacuation. Officials say if a disaster causes traffic congestion, authorities may redirect people and vehicles to use forestry roads for evacuation.

Yuichi Kojima, a senior Kagoshima prefectural official, says the prefecture is giving top priority to improving evacuation routes and will also work with local municipalities to secure smooth evacuations.


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