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Capturing the Haunting Buildings of 'Quake-Ravaged Japan

Two years ago, the Great East Japan Earthquake—the largest quake Japan had seen for some 1,200 years—triggered a tsunami and nuclear calamity that left the towns of northeast Japan torn apart and abandoned. With the dust settled, Google recently sent out a crew, a car, and a nine-eyed camera to document the destruction of Namie-machi, Japan, a city north of the derelict Fukushima nuclear power plant, capturing post-apocalyptic scenes of shattered structures, like the splintered residence surrounded by debris above. "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," reads the Google Maps blog. "With the lingering nuclear hazard, we have only been able to do cursory work for two whole years ... but we will never give up taking back our hometown." Below, a crumbling elementary school, and restaurants that look teeter on the edge of complete collapse.

? A hand-washing station in Ukedo Elementary School. [Mapped]

? A collapsed building on Namie Street. [Mapped]

· Google Maps a Japanese Nuclear Ghost Town [The Atlantic]