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Damage Caused by the Atomic Bombing

Damage caused by Atomic bombing

When the atomic bomb was dropped, Nagasaki had a population of about 240,000. However, by the end of December 1945, 73,884 of its people had been killed, and 74,909 had been injured by the A-bomb. In addition, so-called “atomic bomb disease,” caused by the heat rays, blast and radiation, afflicted the survivors, many of whom developed various diseases with the passing of time. Some A-bomb victims are still suffering from these diseases.
The houses damaged by the atomic bomb totaled 18,409, approximately 36% of all houses in Nagasaki City.
(The above figures are based on estimates up to the end of December 1945, from a report released in July 1950 by the Committee for the Preservation of Atomic Bomb Artifacts.

  What is atomic bomb disease?
  Experiences as narrated by A-bomb survivors

Damage Caused by the Flash of Heat

When the atomic bomb exploded, a fireball approximately 280 m in diameter was created. Its surface temperature was as high as that of the sun.
Near the hypocenter, all the burnable things were ignited.
Exposed to the heat, victims’ skin burned, the injuries later turning into running sores. A-bomb burns were inconceivably worse than ordinary burns. Moreover, the flash of heat began a fire which spread through the city.


Damage Caused by the Blast

The A-bomb blast had tremendous force,and many people were crushed to death under the collapsed buildings. Countless splinters of window glass showered upon people.

  Damage Caused by the Atomic Bombing

Damage Caused by Radiation

The primary difference between atomic bombs and conventional bombs is that the atomic bombs emits radiation. Although A-bomb radiation is not visible or tangible, when the human body is exposed to radiation, it damages various cells, causing the malfunction of various organs and body parts, which result in disease. Many persons, even though apparently not injured, died of exposure to radiation. People were injured not only by the radiation released when the atomic bomb exploded, but also by the radioactive fallout, or "ashes of death" (radioactive particles that fall to earth following a nuclear explosion), and what is called “black rain” which contains such fallout.

  Mechanism of Radiation

Rescue and Relief Activity

In the area close to the hypocenter, buildings with no shield in its surroundings, were more likely to be destroyed. They were burned down by the fires caused by the heat rays, or severely destroyed by the blast, killing or severely injuring many people. Medical facilities were no exemption. Notably, the Nagasaki Medical College, located about 500meters from the hypocenter, was seriously damaged. The College was the most adequately equipped medical institute in Nagasaki City at that time. Many relief teams came to Nagasaki from other parts of Nagasaki Prefecture, as well as from various parts of Kyushu. National schools (now primary schools) functioned as aid stations for the many injured persons who were brought there. Meanwhile, relief trains transported the injured to the Isahaya and Omura districts. Despite these efforts, however, fatalities increased
because there were so many injured that surviving doctors and nurses could not provide sufficient treatment, and because of the lack of medical supplies. Even under such circumstances, self-sacrificing relief activities continued.


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