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11:16

Some 140 people who were evacuated from their homes near the nuclear power plant in Fukushima were quarantined at a local community center Sunday night in Nihonmatsu, Japan, awaiting radiation testing, officials said.

(Stars and Stripes reporter Charlie Reed has spent two days driving toward Sendai from Tokyo. This is her report.)

“Nobody is going out until they’re tested,” said Takaya Sato, with the Fukushima Kenpoku Health and Welfare Center.

The people were brought to the Fukushima Gender Equality Center in Nihonmatsu city by helicopter or bus from Futaba Kosei Hospital.

An estimated 170,000 people have fled the evacuation zone, a 12-mile radius around the Fukushima nuclear plant, since authorities detected radiation leaks on Saturday. The number of people exposed to radiation could be as high as 160, the Japanese Nuclear Safety Agency said.

Officials say at least three people have tested positive for radiation exposure and were being evacuated by helicopter from a hospital about two miles from the reactor.

— Patrick Dickson

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