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Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (2011)

In the shadow of Fukushima, a ghost town struggles back to life

In the shadow of Fukushima, a ghost town struggles back to life

By day, this town bustles. Trucks rumble through, carrying equipment to the nearby Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. A temporary supermarket has sprung up to cater to workers employed in the massive cleanup job at the plant; a ramen stand dispenses steaming noodles near City Hall.

But a different Naraha emerges after sundown. Traffic stops. The streetlights come on but the neighborhoods are dark. A dog can be heard barking in the distance. A police car patrols the empty streets, its bright red light visible from miles away, like a meteor in the night. Instead of a siren, it emits a mournful lullaby.

“It’s true that at night it feels like a ghost town,”...

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