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Hiroshima

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Autor:   •  November 18, 2010  •  1,019 Words (5 Pages)  •  361 Views

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Hiroshima

The first operational atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city Hiroshima (situated at 8M km far from Tokyo) on 6 August 1945. The bomb nicknamed as 'Little Boy' was 3 m long, used uranium 235, had 12.5 kilotons of TNT power, and was 3,600 kg heavy. The cruel bomb demolished the city and turned it to dunghill. Majority of the city population was killed and lots were injured.

Many discussions and opinions came about selecting a suitable area for the bomb blast. The cities that were considered were Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata, Tokyo, and Nagasaki. Kyoto was considered for the attack but was not selected because of its cultural heritage and astonishing beauty. Decision to make Hiroshima as the first target of the blast was made after much discussion by a Target committee. It was required to choose a city that was untouched by USAAF strategic air offensives in order to assess the damage caused, and to astonish the Japanese government with the extent of destruction it was supposed to cause. Enemies of Japan very well knew that bombing at Hiroshima will bring the maximum destruction to the city.

The bomb was launched by Enola Gay (nick name), a US B29 bomber Tinian (the Pacific island). The bomb exploded almost 580 m. above the ground, and during the power release, the temperature reached several million degrees centigrade. The sky exploded into flames and the land turned into a living hell. Powerful radiation, heat rays, and severe shock waves were generated out of the huge fire ball created out of the blast. The area was flat and congested with many commercial and administrative buildings. An area of 13 sq. km. (5 sq. mi.) was burned to ashes. Out of the 76,000 buildings in the area, almost 63% were destroyed and just 8% of the buildings escaped from the damages.

The entire issue of The New Yorker August 31 is covered by John Hersey's (Pulitzer Prize winner) report on the effects of the atomic bombing on six people. The article was published on the magazine on the first anniversary of Hiroshima bombing incident. The work reflected the author's experiences in World War II as a war correspondent. His works reflected various problems and grievances related to intolerance and inhumanity. The article was very much popular and appreciated and became a book soon. The author's account about the terrific consequences of the bombing was recognized as one of the best and influencing classics of the war. The article was completely based on those six individuals who were highly affected because of the bombing. The author went through the details of all these six individuals describing their feelings before and after the blast. Instead of giving a general account about Hiroshima incident, John Hersey specifically selected few people as the characters of the article.

Within an area of 1.2 km of the hypocenter, there was almost a 50% death rate in the total 350,000 people who were there in Hiroshima at that time. According to the estimates of Hiroshima City Survey Section, almost 118,661 civilian deaths happened till August 1946. Almost 20,000 military personnel lost their lives. And estimating the results and after effects (current figure), the count of people who are still immensely suffering from the destructive effects of the radiation will come around 140,000. Among those who escaped death and injuries, the effects (long-term consequences) of radiation resulted in various terrible sickness, and genetic and chromosome problems. The mental trauma was catastrophic; babies, who were born long after the incident also suffered from various deadly sicknesses, too stunted in growth and were sometimes mentally retarded even.

Survivors of the blast were in need of medical help, food and shelter. Surviving (few of them injured and few uninjured) doctors and nurses offered their help to injured people.

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