The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was reported as the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. 2016 marks the 5th anniversary of the incident, the area has been abandoned ever since the disaster occurred. What does the deserted area look like today?
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occurred on the 11th of March 2011. Following the Tohoku Earthquake on the same day a tsunami was triggered, leading to huge damage done to the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. Residents were asked to evacuate, and what they thought would be just a temporary evacuation is already lasting for several years as they still cannot return to live in this part of Fukushima due to the high levels of radioactivity that are still measured in the area.
The area is not a safe to stay as radioactive particles can increase the risk of several types of cancer including breast cancer, leukemia, and thyroid cancer. Former residents and workers can only go to the area for a limited amount of time. Maintenance workers who have to work in the area to keep the damage in the nuclear plant contained can only go to the area for a maximum of 4 hours per day. Below you can see some of the photos taken in 2016, and see what the site looks like today.
The school gymnasium can be seen retaining signs of damage from the earthquake in 2011. The single football further emphasizes the desolation of the area which was once filled with kids playing sports.
Many houses were destroyed during the earthquake in 2011. While there are other houses which are left undestroyed, residents have no choice but to abandon them, so there is nobody left to clean up the mess left behind.
Some plants have red ribbons tied to them to indicate danger.
Protective gears are required when stepping into the exclusion zone.
Even now that 5 years have passed, the Fukushima plant site is said to continue to spill radioactive waste for many years to come, and the process of cleaning up could take decades. It is a sad incident that has shocked the nation and the rest of the world with it. The accident illustrates the high risk that nuclear plants carry for a big disaster to happen. Some citizens have expressed the wish that all nuclear plants be shut down, but the government plans to recommit to the usage of nuclear plants. Let’s hope that they will put strict safety measures in place, so disasters like the Fukushima one can be avoided in the future.