Saturday, Sep 19, 2020 | Last Update : 06:21 AM IST

179th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra114584081235431351 Andhra Pradesh6095585198915244 Tamil Nadu5309084757178685 Karnataka5029823940257808 Uttar Pradesh3362942632884771 Delhi2347011981034877 West Bengal2155801870614183 Odisha167161133466722 Telangana1670461353571016 Bihar164224149722855 Assam150349121610528 Kerala12221687341490 Gujarat119088999083271 Rajasthan109088906851293 Haryana103773816901069 Madhya Pradesh97906743981877 Punjab90032658182646 Chhatisgarh7777541111628 Jharkhand6710052807590 Jammu and Kashmir5971138521951 Uttarakhand3713924810460 Goa2678320844327 Puducherry2142816253431 Tripura2069612956222 Himachal Pradesh11190691997 Chandigarh92566062106 Manipur8430653951 Arunachal Pradesh6851496713 Nagaland5306407910 Meghalaya4356234232 Sikkim2119178923 Mizoram15069490
  World   Asia  09 Aug 2020  'Unspeakable horror': The attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

'Unspeakable horror': The attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Published : Aug 9, 2020, 12:09 pm IST
Updated : Aug 9, 2020, 12:10 pm IST

The twin bombings dealt the final blow to imperial Japan, which surrendered on August 15, 1945, bringing an end to World War II

A man prays in front of the cenotaph for the atomic bombing victims before the start of ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the bombing in Hiroshima, western Japan. (AP)
 A man prays in front of the cenotaph for the atomic bombing victims before the start of ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the bombing in Hiroshima, western Japan. (AP)

Tokyo: Japan on Sunday marks 75 years since the atomic bomb attack on Nagasaki, which killed around 74,000 people and left many more deeply traumatised and even stigmatised.

It followed the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 that killed 140,000 people.


Here are some facts about the devastating attacks:

The bombs

The first atomic bomb was dropped on the western city of Hiroshima by the US bomber Enola Gay.

The bomb was nicknamed "Little Boy" but its impact was anything but small.

It detonated about 600 metres from the ground, with a force equivalent to 15,000 tonnes of TNT.

Tens of thousands died instantly, while others succumbed to injuries or illness in the weeks, months and years that followed.

Three days later the US dropped a second bomb, dubbed "Fat Man", on the city of Nagasaki.

The attacks remain the only time atomic bombs have been used in wartime.

The attacks


When the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the first thing people noticed was an "intense ball of fire", according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Temperatures near the blast reached an estimated 7,000 degrees Celsius (12,600 Fahrenheit), which caused fatal burns within a radius of about three kilometres (five miles).

ICRC experts say there were cases of temporary or permanent blindness due to the intense flash of light, and subsequent related damage such as cataracts.

A whirlwind of heat generated by the explosion also ignited thousands of fires that burned several square kilometres (miles) of the largely wooden city. A firestorm that consumed all available oxygen caused more deaths by suffocation.


It has been estimated that burn- and fire-related casualties accounted for more than half of the immediate deaths in Hiroshima.

The explosion generated an enormous shock wave that in some cases literally carried people away. Others were crushed to death inside collapsed buildings or injured or killed by flying debris.

"I remember the charred bodies of little children lying around the hypocentre area like black rocks," Koichi Wada, a witness who was 18 at the time of the Nagasaki attack, has said of the bombing.

Radiation effects

The bomb attacks unleashed radiation that proved deadly both immediately and over the longer term.

Radiation sickness was reported in the aftermath by many who survived the initial blasts and firestorms.


Acute radiation symptoms include vomiting, headaches, nausea, diarrhoea, haemorrhaging and hair loss, with radiation sickness fatal for many within a few weeks or months.

Bomb survivors, known as "hibakusha", also experienced longer-term effects including elevated risks of thyroid cancer and leukaemia, and both Hiroshima and Nagasaki have seen elevated cancer rates.

Of 50,000 radiation victims from both cities studied by the Japanese-US Radiation Effects Research Foundation, about 100 died of leukaemia and 850 suffered from radiation-induced cancers.

The group found no evidence however of a "significant increase" in serious birth defects among survivors' children.


The aftermath

The twin bombings dealt the final blow to imperial Japan, which surrendered on August 15, 1945, bringing an end to World War II.

Historians have debated whether the devastating bombings ultimately saved lives by bringing an end to the conflict and averting a ground invasion.

But those calculations meant little to survivors, many of whom battled decades of physical and psychological trauma, as well as the stigma that sometimes came with being a hibakusha.

Despite their suffering and their status as the first victims of the atomic age, many survivors were shunned -- in particular for marriage -- because of prejudice over radiation exposure.


Survivors and their supporters have become some of the loudest and most powerful voices opposing the use of nuclear weapons, meeting world leaders in Japan and overseas to press their case.

Last year, Pope Francis met several hibakusha on visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, paying tribute to the "unspeakable horror" suffered by victims of the attacks.

In 2016, Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima. He offered no apology for the attack, but embraced survivors and called for a world free of nuclear weapons.

Tags: hiroshima, nagasaki, atomic bombs, fat man, little boy, 75th anniversary, hibakusha, survivors