In five prefectures, or states, more than 215,000 people are now living in 1,350 temporary shelters.
The authorities at first said that an evacuation radius of six miles from the stricken 40-year-old Daiichi 1 reactor plant in Fukushima prefecture was adequate, but, an hour later, the boundary was extended to 13 miles. Vapour, said to consist of minimally radioactive steam, could be seen rising from the plant. And then, in the early hours this morning, there came a 6.4 Richter scale aftershock. More may come.
Workers clear logs that drifted down a flooded river and piled up on the tracks of the JR Kishin Line in Sayo, Hyogo Prefecture, on Monday morning. (SHINICHI IIZUKA/ THE ASAHI SHIMBUN)
1 （日本・フランス・イタリアなどの）県, 府2 [U][C]prefectの職［官舎］.
A prefecture (from the Latin Praefectura) is an administrative jurisdiction or subdivision in any of various countries and within some international church structures, and in antiquity a Roman district governed by an appointed prefect.
Prefecture most commonly refers to a self-governing body or area since the tetrarchy when Emperor Diocletian divided the Roman Empire into four districts (each divided into dioceses, grouped under a Vicarius (a number of Roman provinces, listed under that article), although he maintained two pretorian prefectures as an administrative level above the also surviving dioceses (a few of which were split).