AFTER THE APOCALYPSE: Haunting Photographs Show The Sprawling Ruins Of CHERNOBYL 27 Years After Nuclear Disaster
– Photographer Hélène Veilleux was allowed into the Zone Of Alienation surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear plant.
– Her pictures show the desolate area covering 1,000 square miles that was evacuated after blast in April 1986.
– Schools, shops, fairgrounds, swimming pools and homes – all are slowly falling into ruins as zone returns to forest.
Scores of abandoned gas masks covering a shop floor, rusted carriages of a motionless big wheel, neglected wallpaper falling off the wall of an empty family home…
These haunting images offer a rare glimpse into the life that stopped still in Chernobyl and neighbouring city Pripyat 27 years ago, when a test at a nuclear power reactor went wrong.
It was the worst nuclear disaster in history, and so dangerous was the fallout that the Ukrainian government evacuated 350,000 residents, creating an Exclusion Zone where time has stood still ever since.
Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated from the exclusion zone, leaving behind homes into which they had invested time, money and love.
Most people are barred from living in the zone, named the Alienation Zone, which covers an area of more than 1,000sq miles around the abandoned plant, to protect them from the effects of any lingering radiation. A few residents refused to leave, and a handful of older residents have moved back to be close to family graves, but the area is mostly uninhabited and has now reverted to forests.
Tourists may obtain day passes, and workers who are rebuilding the damaged sarcophagus are allowed in for limited hours only each month. Scientists the area will not be safe to live in for another 20,000 years.
Earlier this month, photographer Hélène Veilleux was allowed in, and spent four days photographing the irradiated ruins of the towns where hundreds of thousands of families once lived, worked and died.
These astonishing photographs document what she saw on her journey from Chernobyl to Pripyat.
The Chernobyl disaster on April 26, 1986, was the worst nuclear accident in history, killing 64 and leaving many thousands more with long-term effects including cancer and deformities.
Large public buildings are now simply falling apart: ceiling tiles have dropped off and smashed, wall claddings have slid down.
While people have been forced out of the exclusion zone, nature – including deer – has regained control, with much of it reverting to forest
The fabric of both public and private buildings is slowly rotting as the vast, 1000sq mile zone of alienation is gradually reclaimed by nature.
Trees sprout between paving slabs as nature gradually regains the upper hand over the exclusion zone – experts estimate it will not be habitable for another 20,000 years.
The explosion and subsequent fire at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere.
The disaster began at Chernobyl reactor number four, when a power surge occurred during a systems test, causing a series of steam explosions and a fire which sent a plume of radioactive material into the air.
Very few people enter the Chernobyl exclusion zone – a handful of people refused to leave, and some elderly people moved back to be near graves, but the zone is largely desolate.
UNUSUAL / CHERNOBYL – Abandoned gas masks cover floor of a shop in Pripyat, a once-thriving town of 50,000 people nr Ukrainian border with Belarus. (WordPress)
UNUSUAL / CHERNOBYL – PUBLIC SWIMMING BATHS once resonated to shrieks from excited children-the now-drained pool has not been swum in 4 decades.(WordPress)
UNUSUAL /CHERNOBYL – TIME HAS STOOD STILL AT THIS FAIRGROUND RIDE.NOW RUSTED AND BLACKENED, IT SERVES AS A BLEAK MEMORIAL TO LONG-GONE FAMILIES (WordPress)
UNUSUAL /CHERNOBYL – While people have been forced out of the exclusion zone, nature – including deer – has regained control, with much of it reverting to forest (WordPress)
UNUSUAL /CHERNOBYL – A school common room or hospital waiting room is a shell of its former self- chairs still in rows r covered with dust and fallen plasterwork(WordPress)
UNUSUAL /CHERNOBYL – SCHOOLROOM.The schoolchildren who were evacuated in the aftermath of the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor are now adults(WordPress)
UNUSUAL /CHERNOBYL – 100’S of 1000’S of pple were evacuated from the exclusion zone,leaving behind homes into which they had invested time, money,love(WordPress)
UNUSUAL /CHERNOBYL – disaster on 26.4.1986,was worst nuclear accident in history,killing 64 n leaving many10’sof1000’s with long-term effects eg cancer n deformities(WordPress)