Namie, a Japanese town near the Fukushima nuclear power plant, was forced to evacuate all of its 21,000 residents in 2011 when an earthquake and tsunami struck the region, which caused the nuclear fuel to melt down. Recently Google was asked to conduct a street view photo session of the city by the city's mayor.
"By photographing the town and making those photographs publicly available, we can show the townspeople the condition of the streets," Tamotsu Baba said earlier this month. "In addition, I want to show the world the true state of Namie." Google took on the challenge and today has posted those images.
In a guest post on Google's blog Baba said:
Ever since the March disaster, the rest of the world has been moving forward, and many places in Japan have started recovering. But in Namie-machi time stands still. With the lingering nuclear hazard, we have only been able to do cursory work for two whole years. We would greatly appreciate it if you viewed this Street View imagery to understand the current state of Namie-machi and the tremendous gravity of the situation.