A fire broke out in a mountain forest near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant on the evening of April 29, consuming an area approximately 20 hectares in size, according to prefectural authorities. The fire started on 448-meter-high Mount Juman in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, prompting the prefectural government to request the dispatch of the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) on a disaster relief mission on April 30. A total of eight helicopters from Fukushima, Miyagi and Gunma prefectures as well as the SDF discharged water on the site to combat the fire. As the fire continued to spread, however, helicopters from the GSDF, Fukushima Prefecture and other parties on May 1 resumed fire extinguishing operations from around 5 a.m. The area is designated as a “difficult-to-return zone” due to high radiation levels from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and entry into the area is barred in principle.
Mainichi 1st May 2017 read more »
Coinciding with the cherry blossom season, Bathory attempted to capture the site of the horrible tragedy with a touch of optimism. “I wanted to capture how a moment of time, a moment from which hopefully these towns will continue to be cleaned up and rebuilt and one day residents will return to their homes and rebuild their towns, very much in the same way Hiroshima has become a thriving city again,” she explains in her book. Bathory spent five days exploring the area and capturing the unsettling landscape. Strangely, amongst all the decay, some buildings still had electricity; one bookstore even has a running computer. “Even through disaster nature will replenish the land and those that died will be remembered and honoured,” she writes. “It is particularly important for me to capture in photographs Fukushima as it currently exists, not only for historical records, but to inform people about this tragedy so it is remembered. As the memory fades and those terrible images of that day no longer flood the media, it can be so easy for us to forget.”
Mental Floss 1st May 2017 read more »