On the 26th of April 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant caught fire sending radioactive smoke hurtling into the atmosphere. The smoke covered a large area of modern day Ukraine, Belarus and Russia and caused a large scale evacuation, most notably in the nearby city of Pripyat which was built to house workers from the plant. The city wasn’t evacuated immediately after the disaster however within hours, residents began to complain of headaches and a metallic taste in their mouths.
The Soviet Union didn’t admit a disaster had taken place until radioactive alarms were triggered in a nuclear plant in Sweden, over 1000km away and on April 27th, the city of Pripyat was eventually evacuated with the following notice –
“For the attention of the residents of Pripyat! The City Council informs you that due to the accident at Chernobyl Power Station in the city of Pripyat the radioactive conditions in the vicinity are deteriorating. The Communist Party, its officials and the armed forces are taking necessary steps to combat this. Nevertheless, with the view to keep people as safe and healthy as possible, the children being top priority, we need to temporarily evacuate the citizens in the nearest towns of Kiev Oblast. For these reasons, starting from April 27, 1986 2 p.m. each apartment block will be able to have a bus at its disposal, supervised by the police and the city officials. It is highly advisable to take your documents, some vital personal belongings and a certain amount of food, just in case, with you. The senior executives of public and industrial facilities of the city has decided on the list of employees needed to stay in Pripyat to maintain these facilities in a good working order. All the houses will be guarded by the police during the evacuation period. Comrades, leaving your residences temporarily please make sure you have turned off the lights, electrical equipment and water off and shut the windows. Please keep calm and orderly in the process of this short-term evacuation.”
Following the evacuation and the disaster, an exclusion zone was set up 30km around the plant which exists to this day however approximately 400 people still live inside the zone. Pripyat was abandoned has been left pretty much as it was in 1986 and has begun to decay, a ghost town hidden from the outside world. Authorities in the Ukraine say it will be 20,000 years before the area is fit for human habitation again. Many photos and videos exist and the area is popular among adventure tourists and urban explorers from all over the world. Whether an explorer or not, it is hard to not want to know more about the terrible disaster, a day that turned peoples lives upside down forever. By seeing the photos it really shows you, on some level, the extremity of it all.
Location: Pripyat, Ukraine
Category: Ghost Town