Published on May 14th, 2014 | by Sandy Dechert


Drone Captures Fukushima Desolation Amid Cherry Blossoms

May 14th, 2014 by

Cherry blossoms in Japan (
Cherry blossoms in the foreground of Mount Fuji (image:

So far, at least, the famed blossoming cherry trees of Japan don’t discriminate geographically. This time of year, they grace even the surroundings of nuclear power generators shaken by earthquake, tsunami, and meltdowns three years ago. Otherwise, though, the Fukushima landscape remains desolate. Despite widespread resettlement in other regions, over 15 thousand residents of the proximate area still cannot return to their homes.

Cleanup contractors cannot perform customary work on the ground because the risk of radiation from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex continues. Instead, drones do the close surveillance. You can catch some of the video here.

The Tokyo-based multicopter firm HEXaMedia sends its unpiloted flying cameras over Japan’s eastern coast to record the destruction caused by the incredible tsunami that followed the 9.0 Tohoku earthquake and led Fukushima’s live reactors to melt down.

In this footage, one drone overflying the Japanese ghost town of Tokioma captures this year’s cherry trees, bright pink amid the abandoned and useless wreckage of local civilization.

Says an observer:

“Tokioma had more than 15,800 residents across 6,000 houses, schools, and business, and all of them are still prevented from returning to their homes, pictured. A total of 300,000 people evacuated the Fukushima area on the east coast…. [As of August last year, 1,600 of these deaths were due to people living in temporary housing and not having access to hospitals or medical care.]”

Note: At least one of the YouTube posters (‪Shazzy Mazzy‬ of The News Insight) and Victoria Woollaston, the reporter who covered the drone tapes from the Daily Mail Online, appear skeptical about radiation dangers to life on earth: “many of these areas are said to be covered in radioactive soil,” “reports claim the soil and water in the region still contains high levels of radiation that makes the clean-up effort difficult.” This slanted “journalism” prompts unrealistic science denial. Tell it to the vapor and graves of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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About the Author

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm, writes two top-level blogs on, ranked #2 on ONPP's 2011 Top 50 blogs on Women's Health, and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."

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