Photographing Fukushima: 15 Eerie Photos Of The Forbidden And Abandoned Zone In Japan

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The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was an energy accident at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima, initiated primarily by the tsunami following the Tōhoku earthquake on March 11, 2011. Immediately after the earthquake, the active reactors automatically shut down their sustained fission reactions. However, the tsunami disabled the emergency generators that would have provided power to control and operate the pumps necessary to cool the reactors. Now, after all these years, a photographer decided to go back to the abandoned city to take these amazing photographs.

1. The Japanese people got off lightly in the nuclear disaster in Fukushima.

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2. The Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011 is something the Japanese people will never forget.

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3. The disaster, known in Japan as the ‘Great East Japan Earthquake,’ took the lives of over 15,000 people.

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4. Keow Wee Loong's photographs reveal the story of an abandoned city.

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5. Since the city was evacuated 5 years ago, nobody has been taken in except for the scientists.

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6. The Tōhoku earthquake was the most powerful earthquake to have ever hit Japan, and the world’s fourth most powerful earthquake since modern records began in 1900.

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7. Loong trekked his way into the area wearing only a gas mask for protection.

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8. It was as if the time had stopped in this city.

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9. Incredibly, the earthquake moved Honshu (Japan’s main island) 7.9 feet (2.4 meters) east and shifted the Earth’s axis somewhere between 10cm and 25cm.

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10. The huge 132.8 feet (40.5 meter) tsunami that followed the earthquake devastated the Sendai region and resulted in nuclear accidents.

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11. The most infamous of these were the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

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12. The incidents at Fukushima occurred when electrical failings caused the reactors’ cooling system to break down leading to hydrogen gas build-ups and explosions.

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13. Residents within a 12 mile (20 km) radius were forced to evacuate their homes, and five years since, this exclusion zone is still closed off to outsiders.

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14. Though some people don’t like to play by the rules. Some people, namely 27-year-old Malaysian photographer Keow Wee Loong, choose to ignore Fukushima’s “No Entry” policy and have snuck in to take a load of incredible photographs.

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15. He compared the scenes he found to the post-apocalyptic video game Fallout.

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