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Inside the Fukushima exclusion zone, where no one has been in 5 years

Inside the Fukushima exclusion zone, where no one has been in 5 years

Inside the Fukushima exclusion zone, where no one has been in 5 years

A photographer from Malaysia had the opportunity to visit Fukushima, and what he found is an abandoned village.

Five years ago, a magnitude 9 earthquake hit the east coast of Japan with unimaginable force. The consequences were catastrophic, both in terms of human and material losses, and the whole country is recovering from them.

Without underestimating the rest, perhaps the most potentially dire consequence was the explosions at the Fukushima nuclear power plant and the consequent triple core meltdown, which kept the entire nation and the rest of the world on edge. Everyone remembered the Chernobyl disaster, and wished it would not happen again in Japan.

What do you see when you get to visit Fukushima

Five years have passed since then, and the situation remains complicated. The radiation inside the plant is still so high that no one can enter, and even the advanced robots dispatched by various Japanese companies have not survived too long.

Although officially the nuclear accident did not produce deaths (although I do know that two people were found dead as a result of the earthquake), that has been thanks to the excellent work of evacuation of the area carried out by the authorities.

Initially, all people were evacuated within a radius of 10 kilometers, but later it was expanded to a radius of 30 kilometers; In total, 470,000 people were evacuated, although most had to do so because of the damage caused by the earthquake.

It is estimated that slightly more than 150,000 people had to be evacuated as a direct consequence of the nuclear disaster, although a good number of them have returned to live some 30 kilometers from the area. In fact, today the government has announced that it will allow 10,000 more people to go home.

The red exclusion zone has a diameter of 20 kilometers, and is controlled by the police and the emergency services to prevent anyone from entering. But photographer Keow Wee Loong managed to venture into the area, and these are his photos.

As we see, the area is practically the same as they left it. In fact, Loong jokes that in this place he has everything he could need in his life, apart from radiation, of course.

Upon entering the exclusion zone, one feels a burning sensation in the eyes, and a chemical smell that permeates everything.

The inhabitants of this area evacuated immediately in the face of the tsunami warning, before the disaster of the nearby plant was even known; For this reason, no one has been able to put the packages that fell due to the earthquake in stores, for example, in this place there is no shortage of reading thanks to a bookstore and the magazines that were left behind.

The video clubs still keep the posters of the movies that were going to be a sensation in 2011. In many ways, it’s like traveling through time.

Entering Fukushima is entering a ghost town, with cars abandoned by their owners and houses half-ruined by the earthquake. A strange feeling that we cannot forget, even if we have not been there.