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» Post-disaster death affects elderly in Fukushima

The number of post-disaster deaths related to the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and the ensuing Fukushima nuclear disaster — apart from direct deaths — has topped 3,000 with the figure feared to increase further.

Prolonged evacuation and deteriorating health conditions have apparently contributed to the high figure, suggesting disaster victims are facing a great risk of death even after surviving the triple disasters. An analysis of government data has shown that the elderly were most vulnerable to post-disaster deaths, comprising 90 percent of such deaths as of last fall.

A separate survey by the Reconstruction Agency found there were 2,916 deaths related to the triple disasters in Tokyo and nine other prefectures as of Sept. 30 last year. Among them, 98 percent were in the three hardest-hit prefectures in northeast Japan — 1,572 in Fukushima Prefecture, 873 in Miyagi Prefecture, and 417 in Iwate Prefecture — followed by 41 in Ibaraki Prefecture.

By age, 90 percent of the post-disaster deaths involved those aged 66 or older, at 2,599, suggesting the quake-disaster has greatly affected the elderly both physically and psychologically. About 10 percent of deaths related to the triple disasters involved those aged 21 through 65, at 312, while five were aged 20 or younger.

Some 77 percent of the post-disaster deaths took place within the six months after the triple disasters, at 2,241. Among them, 1,156 died within the first month after the disasters, of which 449 passed away within the first week following the disasters.


<Media Report>
Elderly make up 90 percent of post-disaster deaths linked to tragedy (Mainichi Newspaper)


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