Google Begins Mapping Japan’s Nuclear Exclusion Zone

Two years after Japan’s worst nuclear disaster displaced 21,000 residents of Namie, much of the town remains the same.

Just miles from the Fukushima nuclear plant, roofs that collapsed from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake still litter roads. Newspapers from March 12, 2011 – the day after disaster struck – are stacked high at the paper’s office. There are shells of homes, but no sign of life inside.

The desolation has largely been hidden from public view, behind checkpoints set up to cordon off the government mandated nuclear exclusion zone. But Google is hoping to bring the displaced residents back home – at least virtually – using its street view technology.

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