MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti) – After three years of closure, a hospital in Japan’s disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture resumed work on Wednesday, restoring vital infrastructure ahead of the resettlement of the region, the Jiji Press news agency reported.
The Odaka Hospital was the first medical facility to reopen in the districts surrounding the damaged nuclear power plant Fukushima 1. The hospital is now awaiting the lift of an evacuation advisory for the area, scheduled to be completely removed by April 2016.
Residents of the Fukushima region are currently prohibited from staying in their houses overnight due to increased radiation levels. Minamisoma authorities believe the reopening of the hospital will speed up the procedures necessary for the evacuees to return home.
In March 2011, Japan was hit by a massive magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami, claiming more than 15,000 lives and causing a number of explosions at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. In what has been dubbed the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, three of the plant’s reactors underwent a partial meltdown as radiation leaked into the atmosphere, soil and seawater.