Indirect deaths from March 2011 disaster exceed direct ones

FUKUSHIMA, Japan (Kyodo) — The number of people dying of indirect causes related to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami has exceeded those who lost their lives directly in the disaster in Fukushima Prefecture, the home of a crippled nuclear complex, the prefectural government said May 27.

As of May 26, the number of those who died in building collapses or tsunami caused by the huge quake came to 1,603, while the number of “disaster-related deaths,” including those who died from subsequent ill health or committed suicide reached 1,699, according to the local government.

Currently, around 130,000 Fukushima residents have evacuated from the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, and many people have died solitary deaths in temporary housing.

While disaster-related deaths are officially recognized by local authorities, officials said it has become more difficult to determine if a death is related to the disaster over time.

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