Google Street View maps Fukushima nuclear ghost town
Published on Mar 28, 2013
(CNN) -- Cars remain where they were crushed by falling walls two years ago, drink vending machines stand in gloomy isolation outside shuttered shops and traffic lights still blink amber in deserted streets.
It might sound like the Hollywood setting for a post-apocalyptic dystopia but in Namie-machi, Fukushima, the scene of desolation is all too real.
Two years after Fukushima's nuclear power plant meltdown forced the 22,000 residents of Namie to flee -- snap-freezing the ordinary Japanese town at the moment the disaster struck on March 11, 2011 -- Google Street View has posted striking images of the devastation inside Fukushima's 12-mile evacuation zone.
"Most of the damage that we all remember and saw was the tsunami damage because it was much more drastic," said David Marx, head of product communications, Google Asia-Pacific, who accompanied the Google Street View vehicle as it took 360-degree pictures along Namie's gloomily abandoned and overgrown streets.