The residents of crisis-hit Fukushima face an uncertain future.
The town is suffering under the weight of a potential nuclear meltdown, a shattered infrastructure, a lack of fuel, gridlocked roads and snow.
Graham Chave lives in Fukushima City. He told euronews:
“Yet again it’s a waiting game; we are still watching the power plants, seeing what is going on there. We’re hearing these disturbing stories that large numbers of the personnel have been evacuated, they were only away from the reactors for an hour or so, they have returned there and are continuing their efforts to put out fires and contain any radiation that is going out. We are watching that and watching the wind direction, obviously. Luckily we have a very strong westerly wind here that is blowing everything nasty out to sea.”
euronews: “Are you suffering from snow and cold weather at the moment?”
“It’s snowing here. There are a couple of inches on the ground, which is probably a good thing, because a lot of people don’t want to go outside because of the perceived risk of radiation.”
euronews: “Regarding fuel, are people beginning to run out of fuel not only for transportation, but also for heating and other essentials?”
“If you can find a gas station with any fuel you will be queuing for a couple of hours to get about 12 litres, that is 12 litres per car. So that is not really going to get you very far. Heating, a lot of people here use kerosene for heaters and carry it around in 18 litre plastic containers, and a lot of places are selling 10 litres at a time per person. So with this weather it’s difficult.”
euronews: “If there is a nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, what are you going to do?”
“We will just hop in car and head directly west to relatives – that’s on the way to the other coast, we don’t have enough gas to get really much further, but again our options are limited. Going north we have to go through the Sendai area, which will be difficult. Heading south to Tokyo, depending on the wind, Tokyo is just as much at risk of radiation as here. The main road out of here – and you have to remember the expressways are closed to everything except emergency traffic – the main regular road out of here is gridlocked, it is very, very slow going and once you get on that road you won’t be able to find any more petrol and I don’t know what’s going to happen after that.”