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Chernobyl Evacuees Complain in Pravda : Cite 'Unanswered Questions' About Long-Term Radiation Effects

August 18, 1986|United Press International

MOSCOW — Evacuees from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster area complained in letters printed today of shabby treatment by local officials and a dearth of information about the long-term health effects of radiation.

The Communist Party newspaper Pravda, which printed the letters, urged party officials in the Ukraine to give fuller and more frank information about radiation levels and the prospects for evacuees eventually returning home.

The April 26 disaster at Chernobyl, 600 miles southwest of Moscow, has left at least 30 people dead and hundreds hospitalized. More than 100,000 people evacuated their homes, mostly within a 19-mile radius of the nuclear power station.

A letter signed by a group of women said, "We have many unanswered questions that make our suffering even harder.

"We do not see any consideration from officials. Several families are accommodated in one house. We do not know how to get allowances. We are not provided with clothing. Local officials are showing indifference."

No Advice

Another letter said officials gave evacuees no advice on how to cope with radiation. "There have been few reports on a specific situation," the letter said.

"No instructive work is being carried out. There are few lectures or articles on radiation and on safety measures."

Another letter said one evacuee returned to his village inside the evacuation zone and found that his belongings had been stolen and his home "turned upside-down."

Pravda said there is an urgent need for more information. "We face a very dangerous enemy that is rumors and gossip," the paper said.

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