Three years later, Fukushima struggles to rebuild
Three years ago Tuesday, Japan fell victim to the worst nuclear disaster in a generation. A colossal underwater earthquake led to a tsunami that etched a deep gash along the nation’s coastline and took out three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
The results were catastrophic. At least 15,884 people were killed by the tsunami, and perhaps as many as 18,500. Hundreds of thousands were evacuated from the disaster area, and countless more were put at risk of developing cancer from radiation exposure.
Now the emergency has subsided, but a long path to recovery remains. More than 250,000 people have still not been resettled since they were evacuated from their homes, and parents are still afraid to let their children outside for fear of the lingering radiation. But the healing process, long and arduous as it still may be, has begun. The photo essay above shows a slice of how that process, and everyday life, look in the Fukushima region today.
Q. Sakamaki is a Japanese photographer, based in New York, who has been capturing the aftermath of the tsunami and earthquake for the past three years.