HBO’s miniseries Chernobyl, beats Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones to become the top trending show on IMDB in India. The show is based on a catastrophic nuclear disaster that took place in Chernobyl in 1986. This incident still remains one of the worst nuclear disasters that the world has ever seen. On that note, here are some interesting facts about the Chernobyl accident that are worth being aware of.

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine exploded on April 26, 1986 around 1:23 AM when the no. 4 reactor overheated

According to the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), this disaster remains the only level 7 incident, making it the worst man-made disaster of all time.

According to sources, the radiation released by this incident was 100 times more than that of the atom bombs that were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

The nuclear rain that was produced from the disaster spread as far as Ireland.

According to reports, this fatal incident caused the Russian Federation, the Soviet Union and Ukraine hundreds of billions of dollars.

About 800,000 men exposed themselves to the harmful radiation in order to contain the situation, out of which 25,000 lost their lives and 70,000 were disabled.

After the nuclear disaster, 20% of the people committed suicide

In order to take advantage of the government’s compensation benefit, some families have returned to the affected area. Now, more than 5 million people live in contaminated areas with radioactive material from the accident.

This area has become one of the most unique wildlife sanctuaries in the world with thriving populations of deers, wolves, eagles, beavers and other animals.

The nearby forest was named the ‘Red Forest’ because the radiation leak caused the forest to turn into a bright ginger colour.

Belarus, a land-locked country in Eastern Europe, received 70% of the contamination from Chernobyl.

According to the Greenpeace, this incident has given rise to about 60,000 cases of thyroid cancer.

A crumbling sarcophagus still contains about 97% of the radioactive material, till date.

Reports suggest, the last reactor in Chernobyl was shut down in the year 2000. However, it is said that about 200 tons of radioactive material is still present inside the nuclear reactor.

28 workers at Chernobyl died in a span of four months following the disaster, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Comission (NRC).

Officials say that it can take up to 100 years for the station to be completely inoperative.

Sources reveal that the psychological distress caused by the impact still remains the largest public health concern right now.

As per reports, the areas surrounding the nuclear reactor is going to be used for activities like radioactive waste processing or the development of natural preserves.

About 90% of local children developed cancer and 5% of adults were also diagnosed with cancer. About 100,000 people lost their lives due to the radiation.

Chernobyl is now home to animals and some humans who work inside the tourist site but, no one is allowed to stay here for long. People who work in the tourist site work for 3 weeks and visitors aren’t allowed to stay more than a few hours near the affected power station.

Click here to see the documentary.