A Japanese appeals court has said that the state and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) could have taken steps to prevent the Fukushima nuclear disaster, ruling they must pay one billion yen ($9.5 million) to 3,550 plaintiffs.

The Sendai High Court’s ruling on Wednesday upheld the earlier decision by a lower court in favor of the plaintiffs. They were forced to flee their homes after a 9-magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami that devastated the northeast region and crippled the Fukushima nuclear plant in 2011. (RT)