My 18 Photos Show The Eerie Aftermath Of The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
It was March 11th, 2011 in the Fukushima Prefecture of Japan. The day an earthquake rocked, a tsunami engulfed, and a nuclear power plant went into meltdown.
I am an explorer of the abandoned world. I search for remnants of what we leave behind when we relegate things to decay. I have explored many locations with sad tales and dark histories. I experience a wide range of emotions when I explore forgotten places, as I attempt to document the forgotten world. I immerse myself in the story of each location, in an attempt to present photos with context. Sometimes this is a happy partnership, other times it may uncover a painful past.
Nothing could have prepared me for the overwhelming emotions I felt when I visited the disaster-stricken Fukushima region of Japan in 2019. Even a decade after the incident, the area bears the scars of that day.
I would like to share one story with you, that affected me the most. Of the several places I explored in Fukushima, there is one that sticks in my mind.
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As I stood in an abandoned school gym, I could see the Pacific Ocean only a few hundred meters away. Beautiful and calm when I visited. On March 11th, 2011 the staff made a brave decision. As the tsunami warning sirens sounded, protocol dictated they remain inside. The tsunami wall should protect them, or so it was thought. For some reason, perhaps some intuition, the staff decided instead to evacuate. Their decision undoubtedly saved the lives of the 82 students and all 15 staff members. On this day, the tsunami breached the seawall and struck the school.
I could not help but think that many other schools did not escape the unstoppable tsunami, that many more stories had a much more tragic end.