View of Namie Japan by Google
View of Namie Japan by Google

We have all become very use to checking out the street views on Google maps –a bird’s eye view onto our cities and streets.  In fact, you probably have “googled” your address and checked out the picture of your home.  Well now Google has mapped the evacuation area around Fukushima.  It’s a little creepy!

This week Google released images of Namie, a town deep in the evacuation zone around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.  The scenes show deserted and empty streets; houses pushed into the street as if the quake happened yesterday and now left for fear of radiation; abandoned buildings with weeds poking out; ships and debris still dot the landscape laid bare by the 50-foot waves that destroyed its coastline more than two years ago.

Namie’s 21,000 residents are still in government-mandated exile, scattered throughout Fukushima and across Japan. They are allowed brief visits no more than once a month to check on their homes.
Namie’s 21,000 residents are still in government-mandated exile, scattered throughout Fukushima and across Japan. They are allowed brief visits no more than once a month to check on their homes.

Another 90,000 people remain unable to return to their homes in the exclusion zone. Both experts and government officials have said that some of the most heavily contaminated areas in the exclusion zone may be uninhabitable for years, or even decades.

Google was invited by the local mayor and began mapping Namie earlier this month. It used a car fitted with a special camera that captures a 360-degree view of its journey. These Google images were the first from within the exclusion zone and for those who use to reside in the town, there first chance in some cases to see it.

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/27/google-street-view-captures-ghost-towns-of-japan/?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130328