On this day in 1945, at 8:16 a.m. Japanese time, an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, drops the world’s first atom bomb, over the city of Hiroshima.


Approximately 80,000 people are killed as a direct result of the blast, and another 35,000 are injured. At least another 60,000 would be dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout.

GEP brings another exclusive article on one of the worst hit nuclear disaster in history, The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, 6th august, 1945.


Facts about the atomic bomb :-

  • Length: 3 metres

  • Diameter: 0.7 metres

  • Weight: 4 tons

  • Element: Uranium 235

  • Energy: Equivalent to 20 kilotons of TNT explosive power.
    (It has been estimated that the yield was equivalent to approx. 13 kilotons.)

Death Toll

About 140,000 +/- 10,000 (including 20,000 soldiers) were dead by the end of December 1945; 90% of these are thought to have been killed within 2 weeks after the bombing.

Destruction of Buildings

There were approx. 76,000 buildings in the city at the time, and 92% of these were destroyed by the blast and fire. The blast was so powerful that it did a great deal of damage to 60% of the buildings as far as 5 kilometers away from the hypocentre. It is said that only 6,180 buildings (8%) remained suitable for use in and around the city. An area of 13 square kilometers was transformed into a wide stretch of A-bomb-affected ruins.


Effects of Radiation-


1) Sickness and death due to initial radiation -

The main components of initial radiation emitted in the air within 1 minute of the explosion were gamma rays and neutrons.

Man is exposed to approximately 0.1 rad of natural radiation per person per year. It is said that 50% of persons who receive a whole body dose of 400 rad, which is known as a semi-lethal dose die, and that those exposed to whole body radiation of 700 rad or more have little chance of escaping death.

The location that was exposed to the lethal dose of 700 rad was a point approximately 925 meters away from the hypocentre (in Hiroshima).


2) Sickness and death due to residual radiation

Residual radioactivity was present on the ground for a long period of time from 1 minute after the explosion. It consisted of induced radioactivity produced secondarily as a result of the nuclear reaction of neutrons when the initial radiation collided with the soil and building materials.

Anyone staying within 1 kilometer of the hypocentre within 100 hours of the explosion was seriously affected by external exposure to gamma rays of induced radiation

Black rain fell on the western part of the city from 20 minutes after the explosion for two hours in an oval range with a major axis of 19 kilometers and a minor axis of 11 kilometers. Due to the Black rain, even in remote areas far from the hypocentre, strong residual radioactivity was detected and considerable damage was sustained.

Future threats from nuclear diasters -

Fortunately, nuclear weapons have not been used again on civilians, but they continue to remain a constant threat. Thousands of nuclear weapons remain on alert, ready to be fired at a moment's notice. These bombs could go off at any time by accident or at the hands of terrorists.

Recognizing that there are enough nuclear weapons to destroy the planet, most nations signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), agreeing to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and to work towards eliminating them. The NPT went into effect in 1970, but the number of nations with nukes has nearly doubled and there is still no timetable to eliminate nuclear weapons. A people's movement has grown to convince governments to rid the world of the nuclear threat. 5 regions, covering most of the Southern hemisphere and more than 250 municipalities around the world have declared themselves as Nuclear Free Zones.


Hiroshima Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the threat of nuclear weapons and the dangers of nuclear energy. It's the perfect time to urge your Mayor to declare your city a Nuclear Free Zone.

Thanks for reading, GEP wishes a peaceful world ahead without the needs of such destructions.


Sources of death tolls and destruction from - http://www.hiroshimacommittee.org/

Picture courtesies - National History Library & History channel


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