Where Cats Are Left Behind - Surviving the Evacuated Village in Fukushima

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Iitate – a beautiful small village in Fukushima with approx. 6,000 residents living peacefully…until that day. The disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 changed everything. Located 30 km from the power plant, the entire village was designated an Enforced Evacuation Area due to the severe radioactive contamination. The residents were suddenly forced to evacuate leaving everything behind…including their beloved pets. Unfortunately the temporary housing units did not allow them to keep pets, so dogs and cats had to survive in the drastically changed environment. On their own. No sign of people who used to be their families. No light at night. The village was deserted.
Five years have passed. Despite quite a few having been rescued, dogs and cats are still stranded, nowhere to go while lots of lives have been lost. It is uncanny and bizarre to see giant black lumps – flexible container bags – of radioactive waste everywhere in the village as decontamination has been underway. Volunteers set up feeding spots in half-collapsed barns or abandoned houses for those cats that wait patiently to be fed. Some of them stay in and around those spots. Some of them show up out of nowhere. Some of them disappear never to be seen again.

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from April 28, 2016 to June 19, 2016 at 17:00
Closed on Tuesday, 14 and 15 May.

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