Ukrainian authorities on April 5 reported a spike in radiation levels in the Chernobyl nuclear accident zone, which was hit by a devastating forest fire. According to reports, the fire caused radiation levels to rise above normal in the restricted zone around Chernobyl. Yegor Firsov, head of Ukraine's state ecological inspection service, took to Facebook where he informed about the bad news by sharing a video of Geiger counter showing radiation levels 16 times higher than normal.
Yegor Firsov also wrote that the fire has spread to the Chernobyl nuclear accident zone of 20 hectares but about 250 acres of forestland was burning since it broke out on April 4. As per reports, 100 firefighters, two planes and a helicopter has been deployed to fight the inferno. By Sunday morning the fire had been contained by the firefighters as no blaze was visible and the radiation levels in the area became constant. The emergency service in a statement said that people living near the Chernobyl area are not in danger but the increased radiation levels did bring some difficulties for the firefighters.
This is not the first time when the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has been hit by a disaster. In April 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant polluted a large part of Europe after its fourth reactor exploded, resulting in the immediate death of two operating staff. Due to absorbing high levels of radiation, 134 emergency service members were hospitalised in days ahead, of which 28 people lost their lives. The 1986 disaster is considered the worst nuclear disaster the world has ever seen and it is also one of the only two nuclear disasters that have taken place so far, the other being the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that rocked Japan in 2011.
(Image Credit: AP)