Eight years after Fukushima, what has made evacuees come home?

Tens of thousands were evacuated after the tsunami and nuclear meltdown in March 2011. Less than a quarter have returned. Some of those who did explain why

On 11 March 2011, one of the biggest earthquakes ever recorded struck Japan’s north-east coast, triggering a tsunami that killed almost 19,000 people. In Fukushima, the waves’ destructive power unleashed another menace – a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Radiation forced tens of thousands to evacuate, turning towns and villages into no-go zones. Today, neighbourhoods closest to the plant are trapped in time. Homes have fallen into disrepair and weeds and other plants have been left to swallow up pavements, roads and once well-tended gardens, while boar and other wild animals roam the streets.

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