Watch: Drone Explores Ghost Town Near Chernobyl Power Plant

By Jonathan Zhou, Epoch Times
February 2, 2016 Updated: February 17, 2016

After the meltdown of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986, Soviet authorities established an “exclusion zone” within a 19-mile radius of the power plant to protect nearby inhabitants from dangerous radiation.

The towns of Chernobyl and Pripyat, which had nearly 120,000 residents before the disaster, are now almost empty.

Although a small number of squatters stayed within the exclusion zone, defying the law, that number has dwindled to less than 200 in 2012, according to Ukraine Inform, and most of those who stayed are elderly.

After the meltdown, the number of children born with birth defects in the surrounding area increased by 200 percent, according to Chernobyl International.

The drone footage from above was taken in Pripyat, starting from the Palace of Culture and surveying sets of 16 story buildings, before flying around a Ferris wheel, a hospital, and a swimming pool.