Fukushima beach reopens for swimming

Families and surfers in Japan have been allowed to swim at a beach near the Fukushima nuclear plant for the first time since the 2011 disaster.

Kitaizumi beach finally opened to cheering crowds today, eight years on from the disaster, as the city of Minamisoma officially started to allow people to swim there.

The stretch of beach is about 25km north of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

The beach was very popular with surfers before the tsunami and nuclear disaster, with multiple national and world championships being held there.

Local resident Sayaka Mori went for a walk along the beach with her husband and their three children, Kyodo News agency reported.

"I grew up while seeing this sea. Coming back here for the first time in nine years, I feel a sense of nostalgia," Mori said with a smile, according to Kyodo.

Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, (wearing red helmet) at the power plant in 2013. Picture: AFP
Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, (wearing red helmet) at the power plant in 2013. Picture: AFP

 

A lone house sits on scarred landscape, inside the exclusion zone, close to the devastated Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on February 26, 2016 in Namie, Fukushima. Picture: Getty
A lone house sits on scarred landscape, inside the exclusion zone, close to the devastated Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on February 26, 2016 in Namie, Fukushima. Picture: Getty

 

An aerial shot of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station as Japan was warned of tsunami threats. Picture: Supplied
An aerial shot of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station as Japan was warned of tsunami threats. Picture: Supplied
February 2015: Big plastic bags containing irradiated soil, leaves and debris from a decontamination operation are dumped at a seaside devastated by the March 11 disaster, in Tomioka town, Fukushima prefecture. Picture: AFP
February 2015: Big plastic bags containing irradiated soil, leaves and debris from a decontamination operation are dumped at a seaside devastated by the March 11 disaster, in Tomioka town, Fukushima prefecture. Picture: AFP

Mori's house, which used to be located near the beach, was sadly washed away by the tsunami.

In March 2011, a powerful earthquake and resulting tsunami devastated coastal areas of the northeast, killing about 18,500 people.

The twin natural disasters also caused the triple meltdown at the Fukushima plant.



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