Forest fire in Chernobyl Photograph:( AFP )
The fire began on Saturday and continued to circle the abandoned town
The town of Chernobyl, near Pripyat in Ukraine has been the centre of attention for decades now. In 1986, a nuclear meltdown shut down the whole town, and sent shockwaves across all of Europe.
Dubbed as the world’s worst nuclear accident, it killed over 40 people immediately. However, there’s no way of knowing the real numbers, for a nuclear fallout has long-term effects, with people expected to develop cancer due to radiation for decades to come!
The site has been in the headlines again recently, as the radiation levels across the city have shot up!
Recently, a forest fire has spiked the radiation levels in the deserted town by over 16 times!
“There is bad news – radiation is above normal in the fire’s centre,” Yegor Firsov, Ukraine’s state ecological inspection service head, said on Facebook on Sunday, as reported by The Guardian.
In a clip posted by him, the radiation levels can be seen hovering 16 times above normal on a Geiger device, which is used to measure radiation.
The fire is increasingly gaining traction and is currently burning over 250 acres of forest land.
Ukrainian authorities have responded to the crisis by deploying two aircraft, a helicopter, and over 100 firefighters to contain the fire.
As per media reports, the fire began on Saturday and continued to circle the abandoned town.
However, the radiation levels remained stable yesterday, as the fire remained contained within the burning grounds.
Even though high radiation is dangerous, local authorities claim that nearby towns are safe.
However, the radiation is a potential hazard for firefighters, who are directly in the line of fire.
Even after 33 years, the radiation levels have not normalised, and are not expected to normalise for many decades to come. The fallout from any nuclear plant or disaster has long-term effects. Even until today, people cannot live within 30 kilometres of the abandoned town.
Even after the mishap, reactors in Chernobyl were allowed to generate electricity until 2000.