Google Maps Tours Japan's Tsunami-Stricken Fukushima Area
Namie-machi is a small city in Fukushima along the Pacific coast. The city features picturesque ocean and mountain landscapes, and was known as a place where people could experience both the beauty of the sea and the forests. However, all of Namie-machi's 21,000 townspeople had to flee their homes because of the nuclear accident caused by the massive Japan earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. "Two years have passed since the disaster, but people still aren't allowed to enter Namie-machi," the city's mayor, Tamotsu Baba, wrote in a guest post on the Google Maps blog. "Many of the displaced townspeople have asked to see the current state of their city, and there are surely many people around the world who want a better sense of how the nuclear incident affected surrounding communities." Working with Google, city officials were able to drive Street View cars through Namie-machi to capture panoramic images of the abandoned city exactly as it stands today. The imagery is available on Google Maps and the Memories for the Future Website, and anyone from Namie or around the world can view it. Here, eWEEK shows a few images from the city.