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Japan nuclear crisis: Now, how to evacuate?

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Erico Waga / Special to the Christian Science Monitor

(Read caption) A line of over 20 people wait in the snow at a Seven Eleven market in Sendai, Japan.

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• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

I woke this morning in the port city of Sendai, about 60 miles north of the stricken Japanese nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi, to find that the US Embassy in Tokyo was advising all American citizens within a 50 mile radius of the radiation leak to evacuate.

I am not an American citizen, but I absorb radioactivity in the same way Americans do, and though we're seeing reports of fear exceeding the risks of health hazards, I decided to take the embassy’s advice. Ten miles here or there does not make much difference if the wind is blowing in the wrong direction, I thought, and if the Japanese government followed the American lead an awful lot of people from Sendai, a city of about 1 million people, would be blocking the roads. It was time to leave.

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