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Images of Fukushima’s Exclusion Zone Remind Us of the Walking Dead

Few people have had the chance to visit the contaminated area ever since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster happened in March 2011. Even fewer managed to take proper images of the site, especially of the parts where citizens were evacuated, leaving all their belongings behind.
Arial image of Fukushima’s Exclusion Zone 11 photos
Images of Fukushima’s Exclusion ZoneImages of Fukushima’s Exclusion ZoneImages of Fukushima’s Exclusion ZoneImages of Fukushima’s Exclusion ZoneImages of Fukushima’s Exclusion ZoneImages of Fukushima’s Exclusion ZoneImages of Fukushima’s Exclusion ZoneImages of Fukushima’s Exclusion ZoneImages of Fukushima’s Exclusion ZoneImages of Fukushima’s Exclusion Zone
The images courtesy of Arkadiusz Podniesinski, a Polish traveler, technical diver and amateur filmmaker, are part of a longer story he published back in September. It would seem Podniesinski recently traveled to Fukushima, visiting the sites surrounding the damaged Fukushima I power station.

Whenever such accidents happen, the contaminated area is divided into zones, according to the level of radiation. On the map, red is the worst, orange is still dangerous, while green represents the parts that have already been decontaminated. The latter is also the only one where people will soon relocate once the evacuation order is lifted.

It's almost impossible to get into towns and cities located in the zone with the highest levels of contamination, marked in red. The only way you can go there is with a special permit. In other words, we’re assuming the Polish globetrotter was either part of a scientific team conducting some research, or a very lucky man.

While authorities claim it could take decades until the area is safe enough for people to relocate, most of the locals have accepted the idea they need to start over somewhere else. Some of the things they left behind remain precisely as they were four years ago, with the vegetation reclaiming its natural right.

You can see how the streets have turned green, and the cars were deserted as if all the drivers turned into zombies and abandoned them. Clearly that was not the case, but the images sure are impressive and scary at the same time. Let us remind you that the incident was rated 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES).

The scale runs from 0, indicating an abnormal situation with no safety consequences, to 7, indicating an accident causing widespread contamination with serious health and environmental effects. Just to make an idea about how serious Fukushima was, imagine this: prior to it, the only one to hit the same level was the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, while the Three Mile Island accident was rated as level 5.

 
 
 
 
 

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