Anxiety and distress was growing among evacuees near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant Sunday, a day after a blast occurred and fears increased over possible radioactive leaks from the plant that was hit by Friday’s massive earthquake.
"What’s going to happen, and when…?" a local town official said in expressing concerns, although he noted that people are not panicking. He evacuated from the Fukushima Prefecture town of Okuma, where the plant is located, to the city of Tamura in the same prefecture, farther away from the plant.
Noting that some of the evacuees have also fallen ill because of fatigue and anxiety about the future three days after evacuation, the official said, "There are calls for information about hospitals. There is also a need for medicine."
As the government expanded from 10 kilometers to 20 km the radius of the evacuation area for residents living near the plant, where one of the reactors partially melted Saturday and the blast occurred, another 180,000 residents were forced to seek refuge.
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