Kat Lonsdorf

Across the country, public officials are urging people to stay home and stay safe during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday amid a dramatic rise in new cases of COVID-19 in nearly every state.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is shutting off power for approximately 361,000 customers in Northern California on Sunday to help prevent sparking wildfires amid extreme weather conditions. The utility says the shutoffs are affecting customers across 36 counties as weather forecasts predict wind gusts over 70 mph in some areas combined with dry conditions.

In downtown Namie, a small coastal city in eastern Fukushima prefecture, there was a chorus of construction noise this spring. Truck after truck rolled through, bringing workers to string up power lines and rip down deserted houses, rebuild structures and repave roads.

But at night, all was quiet — except in one small corner of a tiny strip mall. The faint sounds of music, laughter and maybe a hit of tambourine floated on the wind, traveling down empty sidewalks and deserted streets, leading to a karaoke bar in full swing.

Shuichi Kanno rips tape off the top of a large cardboard box at his house in the mountains in Fukushima prefecture in Japan. He opens the box and rustles around to pull out pack after pack of long, thin Roman candle fireworks. The words "Animal Exterminating Firework" are written in Japanese on the side of each canister.

Atop a small hill on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu sits a small solar farm with big, broad panels lined up in rows, tilting to catch the sun. Lush vegetation creeps over the edges of the surrounding fence. In the center of the panels, there's a tall marble gravestone, with an inscription in Japanese.

"Remember that this family evacuated Futaba town, Fukushima prefecture," it reads, "and moved here due to the nuclear accident following the Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred on March 11, 2011."

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