Monday, February 11, 2008

Chernobyl and the abandoned city of Prypiat in Ukranie

You might have seen on TV see images of the sarcophagus that covers the reactor number 4 from Chernobyl Nuclear Plant that exploded in the accident, but this mini-panoramio gives you a wider perspective:



Actually there is not very much to see around the plant, but what is really amazing is taking a virtual walk in the abandoned city of Prypiat. This city was very close to Chernobyl and its 50.000 inhabitants had to be completely evacuated after the accident. I never have seen such a green city, after 18 years trees grew everywhere:



Residents from Prypiat were only allowed to take away a suitcase full of documents, books and clothes that were not contaminated. Apartment buildings, swimming pools, hospitals and other buildings were all abandoned, and everything inside the buildings was left behind, including records, papers, TVs, children's toys, furniture, valuables, and clothing, etc. that any normal family would have with them. Practically the city is a museum documenting the late Soviet era.

The Exclusion Zone is considered relatively safe to visit, and several Ukrainian companies offer guided tours of the area. Prypiat and the surrounding area will not be safe for human habitation for several centuries to come. It will take 300 years for the most deadly radioactive isotopes released by the accident to decay. After that the area may be used for most human activities again. High radiation has not prevented wildlife from entering the area; wild animal populations are actually quite large in the exclusion zone, capitalizing on the lack of human occupation.

Source: Wikipedia