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In 2011 a massive earthquake and tsunami wrecked the Fukushima nuclear plant, resulting in a meltdown that became the world’s worst atomic crisis in 25 years. About 160,000 people living near the plant were ordered to move out and the government established a 20-km compulsory evacuation zone. The operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co, is struggling to contain contaminated water at the site 240 km north of Tokyo. There have been multiple leaks and glitches over the last two and a half years. Reuters photographer Damir Sagolj returned to this abandoned area last month and captured these haunting images.( 25 photos total)

A small monument to victims is seen in front of an abandoned house at the tsunami destroyed coastal area of the evacuated town of Namie in Fukushima prefecture, some 6 km (4 miles) from the crippled Daiichi power plant, Sept. 22. Namie’s more than 20,000 former residents can visit their homes once a month with special permissions but are not allowed to stay overnight inside the exclusion zone. A total of 160,000 people were ordered to leave their homes around Daiichi plant after the government announced the evacuation following the nuclear disaster in March 2011. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)