Inside Fukushima’s Radioactive Ghost Towns

Inside Fukushima’s Radioactive Ghost Towns

September 12, 2019 100 By William Hollis


COMM: Lying completely untouched since 2011, Fukushima is a desolate wasteland. Disaster
struck after a magnitude 9 earthquake triggered a tsunami that destroyed a power plant, leading
to the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. COMM: The quake that caused it was strong enough to permanently move Japan’s main
island, Honshu, two meters east. In the following days and weeks, it’s estimated that over
150,000 people were forced to leave the area. 27-year-old urban explorer Keow Wee Loong,
with friends Sherina Yuen and Koji Hari visited four towns in Fukushima in June this year. COMM: The plant has thousands of times more radiation than was in the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. COMM: Though they wore gas masks to filter the contaminated air, they chose not to wear
protective clothing, leaving their skin exposed to the potentially harmful environment. COMM: The trio didn’t just risk dangers to their health. To enter the so-called ‘Red
Zone’ area, they had to dodge police patrols, sneaking in under the cover of night. Whilst
on site, Keow found gold, money and other valuables still in place. Along with clean
washing half removed from machines. They explored an empty mall with shops full of merchandise
dating back over five years. COMM: The Malaysian-born photographer wanted to explore the devastating effects of the
earthquake first hand, and to see the hold that nature took five years on. The Tokyo
Electrical Power Company Incorporated estimates that it will take at least 40 years to complete
the clean-up operation.