A lot of people have left North Japan. There has been a huge exodus of non-Japanese and many Japanese who are able to, have moved south. I have morbid thoughts about re-locating, even though it is still the plan for us, maybe its just my present mind set :p There are nuclear plants all along the coast after all here in Japan and the country is so narrow and small..imagine fleeing one disaster only to find it happens again somewhere else? And then there is the wind factor. We are 100km north of the nuclear plant here and north wind is unusual here. The most common wind pattern is south or offshore and then west, occasionally north west. It's a mix but following the wind patterns daily as I have been doing I notice that direct coastal northern NE winds to Sendai are actually unusual. This explains why radiation levels are always higher in Ibaraki and down south of Tokyo than they are here. Even though Tokyo reads 100km farther from the plant than we are here, the winds so far have quite possibly taken fall out nearer Tokyo than they have here. It isn't so easy to decide where to go and where is safe :/
Today, one of my beloved student's Mother told me their family is leaving. This is a 100% Japanese family lived here all their lives. Going to friends in Australia and leaving the end of this month. I felt sad because I have taught Mie since fifth grade and she is now in 11th (first year high school) grade and I really adore this kid! I knew they had been thinking about it. Her Father is a doctor and gave us stable iodine tablets back when we may have needed them,he thinks because his kids are younger there is more risk. Also, and this is really horrible, the schools are refusing to say where their school lunch ingredients are from and since Fukushima products are so cheap it is likely these could be going into school meals :( Another thing; schools are entering summer season here and the kids are obliged to clean the swimming pool with bare hands and then swim in what could be radioactive water. The govt refuses to check swimming pools in our prefecture (only Fukushima prefecture gets checked). So many parents complained however that the latest news is some schools in our prefecture have actually stopped swimming classes.
Everything is so different. Everything is changing. I feel that things are going to fall into place eventually and a new world will be born.That is the only way forward. A new way of living for people here, hopefully based on reliable facts and truth. So many people cannot leave, not everyone can afford to!.. and it is these people that need to know how to keep safe and how to carry on and rebuild their lives. Schools need to be more flexible and offer more education to parents on risks and ways to protect their students, take more responsibility regarding food. Water authorities, with pressure starting already from many, will need to offer more info on contaminants. It will happen, it will happen because people are starting to question and as more students like Mie move away, parents and schools alike are going to start wondering why.
Meanwhile the radioactive water building up at the plant is a huge problem as storage space is almost all used up. Huge vessels and an offshore ship are being set up to pump the water into. Can't help wondering what will happen in the next large quake/tsunami to these vessels and the ship too, when will we learn that the whole idea of nuclear energy is just not worth the risks. Germany has.
In Fukushima prefecture another tragedy is unfolding; cattle, chickens and pigs have been left to die as nobody has been allowed back in to feed them. That's so sad.