Thursday, April 14, 2011

102-year-old man in Japan's nuclear fall-out zone kills himself rather than leave home - 14th Apr 2011

A 102-year-old Japanese man killed himself because he did not want to leave his home in the extended radiation zone.

The centenarian lived in the village of Iitate, which until earlier this week was declared safe from radiation leaking from the crippled nuclear plant at Fukushima.

Government officials earlier insisted that anyone living within a 19-mile radius of the plant must move and either stay with relatives or take shelter in an evacuation centre outside the zone.

The elderly man was happy to learn that no one in his village, 25 miles from the plant, would have to move.

But then the government widened the exclusion zone to include Iitate - and he was devastated.

The old man's name and details of his self-inflicted death have not been revealed.

Municipal officials said the man was upset as he discussed evacuation plans with his family and told them that he saw little point in leaving his home at this stage of his long life.

Under the new orders, the government insisted that residents should move out because of concerns over the effect of long-term exposure to radiation from the leaking nuclear plant.

The health of people living near the plant when it began spilling radiation into the atmosphere will have to be monitored for at least 20 years, medical officials said. Read More