Sunday, May 1, 2011

The removal of debris after the earthquake in Japan will take three years

Tokyo .- The removal of millions of tons of debris generated by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11 in Japan will take about three years, stated on Saturday the Japan Ministry of Environment. An estimated 25 million tons of rubble in the three provinces of northeastern Japan hit by the disaster, Iwate, Fukushima and Miyagi, killing 14,616 people and another 11,111 remain missing, police at last count.

It is however expected that this number will increase as it excludes those generated by vessels and vehicles destroyed, according to local agency Kyodo. The greatest difficulty for authorities in the affected provinces is to find places to temporarily store the waste that is currently piled up over tens of kilometers off the coast of Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate.

In the province of Iwate is about six million tons of rubble and so far only been able to secure 40% of the land they need to store, according to Kyodo. In Miyagi, the province worst hit with about 15,000 people dead or missing, it is estimated that 16 tons of debris and authorities will need an area of four million square meters for incineration, recycling and disposing of them.

The extraordinary budget for the reconstruction presented Thursday at the Diet (parliament) for a total of 4.02 trillion yen (about 33,000 million euros), includes a provision of 350,000 million yen (2,930 million euros) for debris removal.

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