On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake — the worst to ever hit Japan — rocked the country. More than 20,000 people died or went missing in the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, while hundreds of thousands more lost their homes.
Since April 22, 2011, towns within a 12-mile radius of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power have been blocked off as part of the “red exclusion zone.” Five years after the disaster, we’re getting a look inside the exclusion zone thanks to Malaysian photographer Keow Wee Loong.
Loong, who shared the photos of his trek on Facebook, was equipped with a gas mask GPS, and Google Maps. He entered the area after doing research on the best routes through a nearby forest to avoid authorities, according to the Malaysian Digest.
Loong wrote on Facebook:
“When i enter the red zone, i can feel a burning sensation in my eyes and thick chemical smell in the air.”
Loong admitted in his Facebook post he entered the Red Zone without a proper permit, saying authorities told him it would take “3-4 weeks” for approval.
The original Facebook post has been shared over 50,000 times. The photos were also shared on Imgur where they have been viewed over 2 million times.