|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
|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
Near the hypocenter, all the burnable things were ignited.
Exposed to the heat, victims’ skin burned, the injuries later turning into running
sores. Some people’s bodies were burned to cinder. A-bomb burns were inconceivably
worse than ordinary burns.
|Damage Caused by the Blast
The A-bomb blast had tremendous force,
which flattened or blew away buildings. Many people were crushed to death under
the collapsed buildings. From broken windows, countless splinters of glass showered
upon people. Moreover, fires started and spreaded due to the heat rays and blast.
|Damage Caused by Radiation
The primary difference between atomic
bombs and conventional bombs is that the atomic bombs emit radiation. Although
A-bomb radiation is not visible or tangible, it enters the human body and destroys
various cells, causing the malfunction of various organs and body parts, which
result in disease. Many persons, even though not apparently 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.
|Rescue and Relief Activity
In the area close to the hypocenter, buildings were
destroyed by the blast and fires caused by the atomic bomb, killing or severely
injuring many people. Notably, the Nagasaki Medical College, located about 500
meters from the hypocenter, was seriously damaged. The College was the most adequately
equipped medical institute in Nagasaki City at that time. In response to the
call for help, many rescue and 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.