The 20-kilometer evacuation zone around the crippled Fukushima nuclear reactor complex has been declared a no-entry zone by the Japanese government, stating that the 'plant has not been stable'.
It is believed that at least 60 families are still living inside the evacuation zone. Around 80,000 people who were evacuated from the zone in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in March will be allowed brief re-entry into the zone to collect their belongings.
Government spokesman Yukio Edano said on Thursday it was decided to designate the area an emergency area based on disaster law, after noting that some people are still living in the area. We have been asking residents not to enter the area as there is a huge risk to their safety, he said. Unfortunately, there are still some people in the areas.
Late last week, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said it would take around nine months to resolve the nuclear crisis, suggesting that people in and around the nuclear zone will take longer to return home.
There have been reports that many people have been living in temporary shelters, hoping that they could return soon.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that a doctor who examined the nuclear workers inside the Fukushima reactor complex has found that many of them are suffering from insomnia, dehydration and high blood pressure. They are also at risk of developing depression or heart trouble, the doctor said.