All tsunami-related debris in evacuated areas moved to temporary storage sites

The national government has completed the removal of debris left by the massive 2011 tsunami in Fukushima Prefecture areas evacuated after the nuclear accident in the same year at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant. The debris in these areas was transported to temporary storage sites by the end of March. According to the Environment Ministry and the Fukushima prefectural government, the tsunami-related debris included vehicles, logs and concrete fragments left in the evacuated areas -- including those where evacuation orders were lifted later -- in 11 municipalities. The collected debris, shipped to temporary sites in all municipalities in an operation directed by the central government, will be incinerated or recycled. Meanwhile, progress is slow in eliminating the wreckage of some 8,400 houses destroyed by the devastating earthquake and ensuing tsunami, with only about 3,000, or less than half the total, having been demolished and their wreckage transported to temporary sites. Some municipal authorities, including Tomioka and Namie towns, are still accepting applications for house demolition. The ministry estimates total wreckage left by the disaster in 11 municipalities at 1.16 million tons, with 820,000 tons transported to temporary sites by the end of March, an increase of 370,000 tons from a year before. The removed wreckage accounts for 70.4% of the total, up 14.4 percentage points. Total wreckage in the prefecture as a whole is estimated at 4 million tons, of which 3.72 million tons or 93.2% were shipped to temporary sites. (Translated by Kyodo News)