30 Mars 2013
March 29, 2013
Stress causing deaths among Fukushima evacuees
Mental and physical stress was the most common cause of death among displaced Fukushima residents following the 2011 disaster, a Japanese government survey revealed. Reconstruction agency officials say that in most cases people died mainly due to poor health brought on by fatigue and stress from moving to temporary shelters.
The survey found all of the 35 people who died lived in areas designated as no-entry zones after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. The plant was crippled by the devastating March earthquake and tsunami.
The number of deaths was highest among people in their 80s, at 16, followed by 6 each for people in their 60s and 70s.
The survey found that fatigue from poor living conditions was the most dangerous factor, causing 25 deaths. Exhaustion from moving was next. It was responsible for 13 deaths.
Some evacuees had to move to new housing as much as 16 times, while the average was 7 times.
The agency plans to provide mental health support to evacuees, including visits by clinical psychotherapists to temporary housing.