FUKUSHIMA Lives on the Line

163chap.IVPatient Relief Activity Records [Essays and Research Publications]FUKUSHIMA: Lives on the LineFigure 1: The March 12 Evacuation Order for a 20-kilometer Radius of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.The order was applicable to 70,000–80,000 people.Chart 2: Psychological Burden due to the Nuclear AccidentMinamisoma CityHirono TownNaraha TownTomioka TownKawauchi VillageOkuma TownFutaba Town20㎞10㎞Namie TownKatsurao VillageTamura CityFukushima Daini nuclear power plantFukushima Daiichi nuclear power plantEvacuation ordersPost evacuation (excluding Minamisoma)Approximately 62,000 peopleChart 1: Comparison of Damage among Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi PrefecturesIwate and MiyagiFukushimaEarthquake>EarthquakeTsunami>TsunamiNuclear power plant accident==+ → 0+ → −A manageable/recoverable calamity⇩Heeding existing knowledge and policies=Great Hanshin-Awaji EarthquakeUnmanageable/unrecoverable calamity=Citizens: anxious, fearful, and angrySustained radiation contamination⇩Necessity of responses for which there is no precedent● Patients from facilities within the 30-kilometer radius of the accident3-month fatality numbers 300% of last year’s numbers�Yomiuri Shimbun�July 2, 2011● Number of evacueesFukushima (16,642) > Miyagi (12,874) > Iwate (6,127) ⇩ ⇩ ⇩No timeline in sight forShould be able to return home soontheir return home● Number of deceased or missing casesMiyagi (11,808) > Iwate (6,886) > Fukushima (1,863)Evacuee statistics as of July 14, 2012 (Cabinet Office) Deceased/missing statistics as of July 31, 2012 (National Police Agency) ● Rapid increase in suicidesIn contrast to the falling or steady numbers of suicides in Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures, Fukushima has shown a year-on-year increase for three consecutive months from April 2011.�Sankei Shimbun�July 16, 2011● Fukushima Prefecture’s population drain, topping 2,000,000 people, shows no signs of abating.Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures have seen an influx of people.�Nikkei Shimbun�September 7, 2011�September 30, 2011in Fukushima Prefecture. However, due to their extreme proximity to the nuclear power plant, they sustained irreparable damage, making it impossible to proceed with the amalgamation.The emergency evacuation of residents after the nuclear accident drastically changed the demographics of this particular area as well as the entire prefecture. The elderly population decreased slightly, but the change was rather extreme for the younger demographic. In addition, patient demographics also changed. Naturally, there was a shift in the types of diseases requiring treatment and an urgent need to re-establish nursing care services.II. Comparison of Damage among Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi Prefectures (Chart 1)Despite being called the Great East Japan Earthquake, the extent of damage to Japan’s eastern prefectures differed markedly. The decisive factor was the presence of the nuclear power plants. The heretofore unknown element of radiation contamination that accompanied the nuclear accident developed anxiety, fear, and anger in Fukushima’s residents. Moreover, previous references exist for recovery from damage limited to an earthquake and tsunami; however, this is not the case for recovery from nuclear accidents.III. Psychological Burden due to the Nuclear Accident (Chart 2)Radiation contamination from the unprecedented nuclear accident is undeniably causing severe mental and physical effects. Residents’ flight as refugees from the prefecture or elsewhere within the prefecture, as well as the increasing suicides and the surging mortality rate, indicate only some aspects of the aftermath.IV. Our Response as a UniversityAs a university, we divided our response into emergency efforts (lasting approximately one month) and mid- to long-term efforts. Policy approaches for the latter were under consideration immediately after the disaster, the same time as we implemented our emergency response.1. Conceptualizing the Great East Japan EarthquakeWe decided to approach this event as a compound,