LOOK: Photographer risks safety to take haunting pictures of abandoned Japanese towns

  • A Malaysian photographer snuck into Fukushima exclusion zone to take chilling pictures of the abandoned city
  • The entire population of Fukushima was immediately evacuated after being struck by an earthquake and tsunami that led to a nuclear meltdown
  • The photos were posted to spread awareness of the danger of nuclear energy
Image from Keow Wee Loong's Facebook page
Image from Keow Wee Loong’s Facebook page

5 years after suffering from a devastating nuclear meltdown, the city of Fukushima in Japan remained untouched and uninhabited.

The entire city was evacuated after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck the east coast of Japan which caused a nuclear disaster on Fukushima in 2011. Since then, the area has been declared as an ‘exclusion zone’ by Japanese government in fear of radiation contamination.

A Malaysian photographer claims to have snuck past authorities barricading Fukushima to give the world a glimpse of what has been dubbed as Japan’s Chernobyl.

Slipping past authorities and not wearing any protective gear other than a gas mask, Bangkok-based photographer Keow Wee Loong explored the deserted towns of Tomioka, Okuma, Namie and Futaba in the Fukushima exclusion zone.

Image from Keow Wee Loong's Facebook page
Image from Keow Wee Loong’s Facebook page

“Have you ever had a dream that you are the only person left on the planet? Arriving in the exclusion zone is similar to that,” he told CNN.

“This was one of the creepiest things I have ever seen. I have been to many places, but nothing like Fukushima. The traffic lights are still operating but there are no cars around. It all reminded me of the movie I Am Legend, like stepping foot into a post-apocalyptic city,” he said.

Loong described the chilling scene where everything was left exactly as is when more than 150,000 people evacuated the town, turning the area into a strange time capsule. Unsold merchandises sitting on shelves, magazines dating back to 2011, and clothes in the drier were among the many things the urban explorer found.

Image from Keow Wee Loong's Facebook page
Image from Keow Wee Loong’s Facebook page

“The radiation level is still very high in the red zone. Not many people seen this town for the last 5 years. I found food, money, gold, laptop and other valuables in the red zone. I’m amazed that nobody looted this town clean,” he said in a Facebook post.

Loong shared that the purpose of his excursion is to spread awareness of the danger in using nuclear energy.

He wrote: “This is the devastating effects of using nuclear energy. The radiation leak at the red zone from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is damaging the environment and marine life in the Pacific Ocean.”

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