Google will start releasing on Thursday panoramic images of Namie, an abandoned town in Fukushima Prefecture located at about 20 kilometers away from the nuclear plant that was hardly-hit by a disastrous earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
Namie is still listed as no-entry zone due to the high radiation level still present in the area. Google will show the 360-degree views of deserted buildings and other ruins in the town by using Street View online service, according to Kyodo news agency.
“All of the residents of our town, 21,000 people, are currently evacuated all over Japan. Everyone wants to know the state of the disaster area, there are a lot of people that need to see how things are,” said Tamotsu Baba, town mayor.
“I think there are many people all over the world that want to see images of the tragic conditions of the nuclear accident.”
Namie’s mayor said the town is happy to cooperate with Google in the filming project, the international press reports.
Google said its staff is following recommended national and local guidelines for safety during filming. The company also made a short video about the project and posted it on its Japanese blog.
“We hope that this project will also help protect against the fading of memories of the disaster, as we approach the two-year mark from when it occurred,” wrote project manager Keiichi Kawai.