Guy Risks Skin Exposure To Take Pictures Of The Abandoned Supermarket Of Fukushima
Nothing in real life has ever looked as much like a scene from a sci-fi movie as the images recently captured by Keow Wee Loong.
The chilling images were taken by the 27 -year-old Malaysian photographer after he illegally entered the Fukushima’s exclusion zone. Five years ago, following a nuclear disaster in the Fukushima district in Japan, the residents within an 18 miles radius of the plant were urged to evacuate. Given the magnitude of the disaster, I don’t think it took too much encouragement.
The zone was immediately abandoned exactly as it was then, 5 years ago and is still sealed off to this day. The nuclear disaster, second only to Chernobyl, was the result of a powerful earthquake that rocked Japan resulting in a tsunami that claimed over 2,000 lives and causing the Fukushima meltdown.
An intense curiosity and clearly a sense of adventure drove Keow Wee Loong to disregard the risk and danger to explore and document his exploration of the area. In order to gain access he had to get through multiple barricades and elude police patrols but he made his way in. The challenging task started with a four hour drive followed by a 25 km hike starting out at 2am.
Speaking to reporters, Keow Wee said: “It feels like a real-life version of Fallout.” “Not many people have access to this area,” he added. “I wanted to be the one to document it.” The only safety equipment the young man used was a gas mask, he didn’t even cover his skin completely. The photos paint an eerie picture of an area trapped in time, untouched and exactly as it was in 2011.
The towns of Okuma, Futaba, Namie and Tamioka were quite literally in suspended animation. Apart from a few stores that had been raided by some remaining animals, everything in the homes, shops and business are exactly as they had been when the occupants rapidly departed. Radiation cleanup efforts have been underway but have been sporadic.
At this stage, it is not possible to know how much radiation Keow Wee was exposed to during his adventure.