Fukushima, located in Japan, is the location of one of the most devastating disasters in recent years. In 2011, a nuclear power plant in the region experienced a meltdown due a strong earthquake that occurred in the area. The earthquake triggered a strong tsunami that washed out dozens of homes and businesses along the coastline. There were major concerns for the safety of citizens in the area after the power plant started releasing high quantities of radioactive substances. This disaster is said to be worse than the April 1986 disaster of the Chernobyl. Unfortunately, there were thousands of people that were homeless, living in terrible conditions, or died. Many wonder could more lives have been saved and what planning measures need to be improved if this happens again.
Researchers continue to learn more about what happen, including why so many people got sick and died. There were a number of issues that developed after the tsunami such as homelessness, poor evacuation conditions, and a significant number of hospitals closures. Because of radioactive materials leaking hundreds of thousands of people had to leave the area. There are health organizations looking into possibilities as to what could have happen if people did not decide to leave. For instance, there were studies that looked into females having higher risks of developing thyroid cancer, leukemia and breast cancer from infancy.
There were deaths reported while people were being evacuated. There were different factors examined with some areas being unclear as to why people died. Some families were under specific regulations and time frames in order to qualify for assistance. Meaning, they had to act quickly when their loved one died in order to receive compensation from the government. Some families may not have clear details on how their loved one passed away during the event. For the most part, there are health organizations offering encouraging outlooks for those who evacuated quickly.
The good news is it seems as the area has learned from the event. They are continuing to take steps necessary to learn what else can be done in the future if this happens again. There were reports conducted that stated the reactors at the power plant could not withstand specific elements of nature such as a tsunami or an earthquake. Plans are in the works to see how things can be more stable with other power plants and for those who were affected by this disaster.