Damages of the Atomic Bombs
On August 6th the world was changed forever. 70,000 lives were ended in a matter of seconds. The United States had dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. Today many argue over whether or not the US should have taken such a drastic measure. Was it entirely necessary that we drop such a devastating weapon The answer may lie in the eyes of the suffering masses that still tell its horrific damages today. The Hiroshima bomb (Little Boy) was exploded at a height of 580 meters for maximum effect. The bomb had the capacity of 12.5 kilotons of TNT. At the bursting point the temperature was about 1,000,000 degrees Centigrade. The intense heat and explosive force of the bomb would turn Hiroshima and Nagasaki into scorched wastelands. Equally devastating was the radioactive fallout which stretched for miles beyond the city. The radioactivity would continue to affect many generations. Through their suffering and pain we can truly learn that the atomic bomb caused physical damages, social damages and left us in a world where nuclear weapons may drive humanity to its very extinction.
The bombing of Hiroshima happened very early in the morning. Little Boy was dropped over Hiroshima at 8:15 A.M. (Hiroshima time). On August 6th the day started out just like any other day. But suddenly the sound of the American planes drew the attention of the city??™s resident. This is clearly seen in the source by Yoshitaka Kawamoto. He states, ???One of my classmates muttered something and pointed outside the window, saying, “A B-29 is coming.??? Yoshitaka was 13 and less than 1 kilometer away from the hypocenter. He further says, ???All I can remember was a pale lightening flash for two or three seconds. Then, I collapsed. I don t know much time passed before I came to. It was awful, awful. The smoke was coming in from somewhere above the debris. Sandy dust was flying around. I was trapped under the debris and I was in terrible pain. I couldnt move, not even an inch. Then, I heard about ten of my surviving classmates singing our school song. I remember that I could hear sobs. Someone was calling his mother. But those who were still alive were singing the school song for as long as they could. I think I joined the chorus. We thought that someone would come and help us out. Thats why we were singing a school song so loud. But nobody came to help, and we stopped singing one by one in the end, I was singing alone.??? This source may not be completely accurate because at the time Yoshitaka was only 13 and he is recalling this event after many years. Before the bombings, families had dispersed as fathers went to work places, children left for school, and mothers remained at home or went shopping. Now, survivors still able to walk searched frantically for family members among the disfigured or dead in the smoldering ruins. Many had lost their lives but for those who survived it was only the beginning of coping. Tsuneo Tomimatsu recalls, ???I threw myself into a frantic search for my family, casting about in the still-hot rubble. Before long, the tips of my shoes were burned so that my toes stuck out, and my hands became swollen with blisters. Looking along the road, near a neighbor??™s house, I found a charred copse that seemed to be my wife. The dead baby on her back I took to be our one-year-old daughter Takako. However, I never was able to find our eight-year-old son Tateki, or our elder daughter Makiko.??? The population of Hiroshima on August 6 was 340,000??“350,000. The initial death count in Hiroshima was set at 42,000??“93,000 and was based solely on the disposal of bodies. The number would change to 130,000 dead in November. The bomb had done what it was designed to do. It had made a statement to the Japanese government that the U.S. had developed a weapon capable of mass destruction. Its entire destruction was yet to be seen.
The sky became reddish over Hiroshima, and was filled with smoke and dust. All who were alive and mobile quickly began to try to help the injured or flee the city. Very few realized the magnitude of the destruction. The scent of char was on the air as fires began to break out around the city. Ninety percent of Hiroshima??™s buildings has been pulverized or damaged by the pressure wave. The wave had swept unhindered across the flat landscape of the city. Tens of thousands of people were dead or dying. Mr. Iso Kita describes, ???All over the right side of my body I was cut and bleeding. A large splinter was protruding from a mangled wound in my thigh, and something warm trickled into my mouth. My check was torn, I discovered as I felt it gingerly, with the lower lip lay wide open. Embedded in my neck was a sizable fragment of glass which I matter-of-factly dislodged, and with the detachment of one stunned and shocked I studied it and my blood-stained hand. It was all a nightmare – my wounds, the darkness, the road ahead. My movements were ever so slow; only my mind was running at top speed.??? Chaotic conditions were in countered everywhere. Some victims were vaporized instantly, many survivors were horribly disfigured. The markings of survivors were not only external but also internal. One way of dealing with this burden was to write testimonies and diaries. A quote from the book Impact, ???A boy in my class was burned by the flash; the hair was gone from half his head, It was slick as glass. A younger student in a lower grade was called “tempura, tempura ???by all; He covered his face with one hand as he ran down the hall. Someday theyll grow up, and . . . I thought, what will it be like then??? (Tempura is deep-fried fish or vegetables). This document may be biased because it was taken from a diary. And following the correct definition of diary it can be filled with a person??™s opinions and not facts. Death from radiation was also uncertain??”it might not claim its victims for days, weeks, months, or even years. Radiation exposure caused many problems such as keloids, cataracts, cancers and chromosome changes. A major concern was whether the children of A-bomb survivors will have any heritable effects or not due to the parents??™ exposure to A-bomb radiation. Mr. Nagoya recalls his shock when he discovered that his son had leukemia. ???Fumiki, my second boy, 7 years and 6 months old, died of the terrible disease, leukemia. His ordeal began one day when suddenly he experienced pains in his joints. His gums became swollen. His face became distorted. My wife wondered if it was leukemia. An ominous premonition came across our minds. The shock of July 29, 1965, is unforgettable for me. It was on this day, when Hiroshima was sizzling with summer heat and the memorial day of August 6th was at hand, that we learned that our 4-year-old boy had leukemia.??? Every victim cannot help but feel insecure that just maybe their child could develop something terrible. In spite of his parents??™ strong wish and prayers, death finally took Fumiki away. He suffered from leukemia for two years and six months. Fumiki died at 2:45 A.M. on February 22. Even now countless A-bomb victims are suffering from various diseases and, moreover, they are subjected to great anxiety over whether radiation affects their children.
The environment was also seriously affected after the bombings. Most deadly of the environmental effects was the black rain. Black rain is a condition when irradiated materials are combined with thermal currents from firestorms. Black rain reached ground level as sticky, dark, dangerously radioactive water. It not only stained skin, clothing, and buildings, but also was ingested by breathing and by consumption of contaminated food or water, causing radiation poisoning. The black rain would last anywhere between 30-40 minutes after the bombings. Ms. Hide Kurokawa remembers ???Houses and trees were leveled as far as the eye could see, and fires began breaking out in the ruins. At the roadside I saw the corpse of a man who had been leading a horse cart, still on his feet, with his hair standing on end like wire??¦. The river was filled with the dead and half-dead; burned children were screaming, ???Mommy! Mommy!??™ and mothers searched for their children, calling their names in faltering voices.?????” Ms. Hide Kurokawa, Nagasaki. This document may show some bias because Ms.Hide couldn??™t recall the event so clearly after many years. Another deadly effect is that water is contaminated. This is because after the radioactive particles being released by A-bomb and when the black rain came the particles flow to seas, rivers and soil. This causes all the marine life to die in matter of time. The Uranium bomb requires millions of years as one half-life. One half-life is when half of the radioactive particles have decayed. When all have decayed, the radioactive particles are gone and life starts to grow back. Sadly, half-life is something no one can control. All we can do is let nature take its steps back to life.
In contrast to the horrible effects that people had encountered, government officials quarreled about how this event was in turn good thing. How could such a terrible act that killed thousands of lives possible be a good thing! This excerpt from Sokichi Takagi diary shows the true colors of politicians that were in charge of the Japanese government. ???It may be inappropriate to put it this way, but the atomic bomb and the Soviet entry into the war are, in a sense God??™s gift. Now we can end the war without making it clear that we had to end the war because of domestic situations. I have long been advocating the conclusion (of the war) not because I am afraid of the enemy??™s attacks or atomic bombs or the Soviet participation in the war. The most important reason is my concern over the domestic situation. Therefore, it is rather fortunate that we can end (the war) without bringing the domestic situation to surface.??? How sick is it to think about useless domestic situation when thousands of your country men are dying from a nuclear explosion! Such a thought shows the inhuman cruelty that war subjects on its victims.
The atomic bomb was one of the cruelest inventions created by man. The damages and horrors that it caused remind us that man is capable of destruction beyond imaginable. Two cities will forever have their names linked together, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as the only cities in the world that have had the ill fortune of reminding future generations that war has the power to destroy human civilization. The stories that people have shared to tell of its madness are both are painful and moving. Yet nations all around the globe continue to make more devastating and threatening weapons. Why don??™t people throughout the world try to live in peace Why are there still people who make nuclear weapons in this world Why do they concentrate so much on how to kill others Do these people not realize that we cannot live without each other Let us never forget about this event. If we let another nuclear war happen then no one will survive. Let Hiroshima and Nagasaki remind us how much evil war causes. I think the human race needs to think about killing. How much evil must we do
to do good