On April 26th, 1986, the world's most disastrous nuclear power plant accident took place. Located just miles outside of Pripyat, Ukraine, the blast killed and permanently disfigured thousands of local people.
The event that has made history across the world is still a hugely popular topic, with HBO even making a mini-series on the disaster.
Despite its popularity, however, there are still generations of survivors suffering from the side-effects of the explosion. One woman, who was nearly three years old when the power plant exploded, has spoken out about her experience, and the side-effects that she's had to live with following the disaster.
What exactly happened at Chernobyl?The disaster of Chernobyl happened inside the No.4 nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl Power Plant. The explosion inside the reactor happened in the early hours of the morning during a safety test when the emergency cooling system was turned off.
Combined with operational errors and technical faults, there was a power surge.
via: ShutterstockThe power surge caused a steam explosion, which then resulted in the final nuclear explosion. This reaction shot the reactor's 500 ton roof and almost 9 tons of toxic waste straight up into the air.
The locals didn't immediately know the severity of the situation.
via: ShutterstockDespite the power plant's explosion, the people in the local town of Pripyat went about their usual business. Even more shockingly, it took officials another thirty-six hours to call for an evacuation.
And the city was completely abandoned.Within the first few weeks of the evacuation, many of the local residents died of radiation-related illnesses. Radiation carries with it a number of serious and life-threatening conditions.
The symptoms often start off pretty mild.
via: ShutterstockPeople initially experienced headaches, nausea and fatigue. However, more severe side-effects such as permanent tissue damage, seizures, and third-degree burns later followed. All of these can eventually result in death, which was the unfortunate case for a lot of the residents in the surrounding areas.
And now, one survivor has spoken out about her experience.
The explosion happened one-hundred and eighty miles outside of her hometown.
via: ShutterstockJanina was living in Vinnitsia, another neighboring city that was affected. Writing to Women's Health, Janina recalls being exposed to the radiation through the regular things - drinking the water, breathing the air and eating the raw fruit.
Her immune system was severely compromised as a result of the explosion.
via: ShutterstockJanina found herself hospitalized whenever the weather would change. She would suffer from severe migraines, seizures, and overwhelming nosebleeds. She recalls when the blood vessels in her eyes burst, leaving her with blood-red eyes.
Around her, friends and family were deteriorating fast.
via: ShutterstockA lot of young people started developing cancer, which was spurred on by radiation exposure, in the years following the explosion. Janina recalls how her best friend's mom passed away from the illness, "I remember being terrified: afraid of getting sick, afraid of getting a migraine that would lead to a seizure, and afraid of what would happen to me."