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Minamisōma, Fukushima facts for kids

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Minamisoma City Office
Minamisoma City Office
Location of Minamisōma in Fukushima
Location of Minamisōma in Fukushima
Country Japan
Region Tōhoku
Prefecture Fukushima
 • Total 398.50 km2 (153.86 sq mi)
 (May 1, 2011)
 • Total 68,745
Time zone UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- Tree Japanese Zelkova
- Flower Sakura
- Bird Skylark
- Fish Salmon
- Others Insect: Firefly
Phone number 0244-22-2111
Address 2-27 Motomachi, Haramachi-ku, Minamisōma-shi, Fukushima-ken
Website Minamisōma City

Minamisōma (南相馬市 , Minamisōma-shi) is a Japanese city in Fukushima on the island of Honshu.


Minamisōma was formed on 1 January 2006 when three neighboring towns were merged in a new city -- Haramachi, Odaka, and Kashima.

2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

The tsunami partly covered the city on 11 March 2011. It damaged the city severely. As of 9 April 2011, 400 residents were known to be dead and 1,100 missing.

Minamisōma is about 25km north of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Much of the city is in the area near the plant where people should not live. Most people in the city had to leave. About a week after the earthquake, Minamisōma was in the news again as the town's mayor Katsunobu Sakarai complained about orders telling people still near the plant to stay in their homes. He said they had been 'abandoned'.

In mid-summer 2011, tests found radioactive cesium above the legal limit in beef from Minamisōma.

In 2012, plans were made to build solar plant on radiation-contaminated farmland.

In 2013, some critics complained that reports issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) were misleading. According to some public health experts, the health impact of nuclear fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster is under-estimated.

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