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Mr Matsumura walking in the ghost town of Tomioka. Following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the town's 14,000 residents were evacuated but Mr Matsumura refused to leave and stayed on to look after the town's abandoned animals.  On 11 March 2011 a magnitude 9 earthquake struck 130 km off the coast of Northern Japan causing a massive tsunami that swept across the coast of Northern Honshu damaging the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and triggering the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. The plant was shut down and a 20 km evacuation zone around the plant was declared by the government. Levels of radiation in the evacuation zone remain high.