In another consequence of the Chernobyl disaster people lost their trust in authorities, health workers, scientists, international organizations, including the IAEA and WHO which is exactly what happened to people after the Three Mile Island and Fukushima accidents. To avoid panic, the authorities did not provide full information about had happened. However, sometimes they were not completely in the know themselves and could not quickly and adequately assess the situation.
Twenty years after Chernobyl, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev admitted: "The government did not hide the truth about the Chernobyl disaster. It just did not know the whole truth itself." In the absence of official information, people relied on hearsay feeding off rumors. This further exacerbated the situation and the general atmosphere of distrust.