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Hiroshima: The Aftermath

The aftermath in Hiroshima following the detonation of the first atomic bomb ever used in warfare was unprecedented. Hiroshima before and after bomb were two different cities. There was virtually nothing left and this once-bustling metropolis had to be rebuilt from scratch.

Hiroshima: The Aftermath

Because the residents had been given an all-clear after the earlier air-raid warning, many were outside when the bomb detonated. More than 50 percent of the casualties died from burns while many others who did not succumb to the initial blast or the fires in the immediate Hiroshima aftermath later died of radiation exposure. Survivors recalled near-lifeless, scorched bodies wandering the streets for a few seconds before they fell to the ground and died.

Beyond those who were killed or injured, the true scale of the Hiroshima aftermath revealed itself for generations to come as health issues like birth defects and cancer continued to plague those exposed to a blast unlike anything the world had ever seen before.

HIROSHIMA , Japan (CNN) -- Rare footage of the aftermath of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima has now been made available to the world -- three years after it was discovered by accident in a Tokyo film vault.

Months later, Japan's Allied occupiers ordered the film confiscated, branding its images a military secret. But a member of the Japanese film crew that filmed the aftermath made a copy and hid it in the film vault -- apparently fearing that Americans would destroy the original.

The United States bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and August 9, 1945, were the first instances of atomic bombs used against humans, killing tens of thousands of people, obliterating the cities, and contributing to the end of World War II. The National Archives maintains the documents that trace the evolution of the project to develop the bombs, their use in 1945, and the aftermath.

The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed about 250.000 people and became the most dreadful slaughter of civilians in modern history. However, for many years there was a curious gap in the photographic records. Although the names of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were incised into our memories, there were few pictures to accompany them. Even today, the image in our minds is a mixture of devastated landscapes and shattered buildings. Shocking images of the ruins, but where were the victims?The American occupation forces imposed strict censorship on Japan, prohibiting anything "that might, directly or by inference, disturb public tranquility" and used it to prohibit all pictures of the bombed cities. The pictures remained classified 'top secret' for many years. Some of the images have been published later by different means, but it's not usual to see them all together. This is the horror they didn't want us to see, and that we must NEVER forget:1. SignalsAll the watches found in the ground zero were stopped at 8:15 am, the time of the explosion. Within a certain distance from the site of explosion, the heat was so intense that practically everything was vaporised. The shadows of the parapets were imprinted on the road surface of the Yorozuyo Bridge, 1/2 of a mile south-southwest of the hypocenter. Besides, in Hiroshima, all that was left of some humans, sitting on stone benches near the centre of explosion, was their outlines.The photograph bellow shows the stone steps of a Bank where a person was incinerated by the heat rays.2. The massacreOn August 6, 1945, 8.15 am, the uranium atom bomb exploded 580 metres above the city of Hiroshima with a blinding flash, creating a giant fireball and sending surface temperatures to 4,000C. Fierce heat rays and radiation burst out in every direction, unleashing a high pressure shockwave, vaporising tens of thousands of people and animals, melting buildings and streetcars, reducing a 400-year-old city to dust.Housewives and children were incinerated instantly or paralysed in their daily routines, their internal organs boiled and their bones charred into brittle charcoal.Beneath the center of the explosion, temperatures were hot enough to melt concrete and steel. Within seconds, 75,000 people had been killed or fatally injured with 65% of the casualties nine years of age and younger.Radiation deaths were still occurring in large numbers in the following days. "For no apparent reason their health began to fail. They lost appetite. Their hair fell out. Bluish spots appeared on their bodies. And then bleeding began from the ears, nose and mouth".Doctors "gave their patients Vitamin A injections. The results were horrible. The flesh started rotting from the hole caused by the injection of the needle. And in every case the victim died".This photograph shows an eyeball of an A-bomb victim who got an atomic bomb cataract. There is opacity near the center of the eyeball.3. Hibakusha Hibakusha is the term widely used in Japan referring to victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Japanese word translates literally to "explosion-affected people".They and their children were (and still are) victims of severe discrimination due to lack of knowledge about the consequences of radiation sickness, which people believed to be hereditary or even contagious.Many of them were fired from their jobs. Hibakusha women never got married, as many feared they would give birth to deformed children. Men suffered discrimination too. "Nobody wanted to marry someone who might die in a couple of years".4. Yamahata, the photographer of NagasakiOn Agust 10, 1945, the day after the bombing of Nagasaki Yosuke Yamahata, began to photograh the devastation. The city was dead. He walked through the darkened ruins and the dead corpses for hours. By late afternoon, he had taken his final photographs near a first aid station north of the city. In a single day, he had completed the only extensive photographic record of the immediate aftermath of the atomic bombing of either Hiroshima or Nagasaki.A warm wind began to blow - he wrote later - Here and there in the distance I saw many small fires, like elf-fires, smoldering. Nagasaki had been completly destroyed"Mr. Yamahata's photographs are the most complete record of the atomic bombing as seen in the most immediate hours after the bombing. The New York Times has called Mr. Yamahata's photographs, "some of the most powerful images ever made".Mr. Yamahata became violently ill on August 6, 1965, his forty-eighth birthday and the twentieth anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the duodenum, probably caused by the residual effects of radiation received in Nagasaki in 1945. He died on April 18, 1966, and is buried at Tama Cemetery, Tokyo. More info at the Japanese Congress.More info and sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8Fogonazos top stories (In English)

As horrable as these pictures are, I find that the suffering placed on these peoples pales in compairison to what it would of been if the USA had invaded and used conventional weapons to defeat the enemy that had attacked them at pearl harbor years prior.I recently saw footage and surviving us soldiers cometary about the invasion of Okinawa, where civilians elected to jump to their death instead of continuing to live after their island had been occupied. Footage of japanese soldiers getting burnt alive by flame throwers since they culture refuses to allow them to surrender and continue to live after defeat in battle.End of the story? How ever horrable the atomic bomb's aftermath was, they saved the lives of japanese not living in the two cities, and countless soldiers (japanese and American) who were desitined to die in battle when the US would of invaded.

Hersey wrote a 30,000-word essay, telling the story of the bombing and its aftermath from the perspective of six survivors. The article, which was published in its entirety by The New Yorker, was fundamental in challenging the government's narrative of nuclear bombs as conventional weapons.

As news started to filter over from Japanese reports about what it was like on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the aftermath, wire reports started picking up really disturbing information about the totality of the decimation and this sinister ... "Disease X" that was ravaging blast survivors. So this news was starting to trickle over early in August of 1945 to Americans.

The Japanese could not, for years, tell the world what it had been like to be on the receiving end of nuclear warfare, because they were under such dire press restrictions by the occupation forces. And so it took John Hersey's reporting to show the world what the true aftermath and the true experience of nuclear warfare looks like. ... It changed overnight for many people, what was described by one of Hersey's contemporaries as the "Fourth of July feeling" about Hiroshima. There was a lot of dark humor about the bombings in Hiroshima. [The essay] just really imbued the event with a sobriety that really hadn't been there before. And also it just completely deprived the U.S. government of the ability to be able to paint nuclear bombs as conventional weapons. ... [Hersey] himself later said the thing that has kept the world safe from another nuclear attack since 1945 has been the memory of what happened in Hiroshima. And he certainly created a cornerstone of that memory.

The increasing threat of nuclear terrorism warrants consideration of the health consequences of a terrorist incident should preventive measures fail. Although there has not yet been a nuclear terrorist attack of any kind, experiences with the aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima and the core meltdowns at Fukushima can provide useful insight and allow some inferences to be made regarding the types of casualties that might be sustained and the rescue efforts that might be required. There are many parallels between the events at Hiroshima and what might be expected from an improvised nuclear device, and there are parallels between the radioactivity released to the environment at Fukushima and the aftermath of a radiological dispersal device attack. Nevertheless, there are some unique aspects to a ground-detonated improvised nuclear device that pose health threats beyond those seen at Hiroshima (i.e., fallout). And psychological health may be impacted more than physical health in the case of a radiological dispersal device. Preparedness requires consideration of all of these various health hazards in order to determine how best to mitigate the consequences of a nuclear terrorism attack. 041b061a72


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