Conflict & Justice

What if your hometown were hit by the Hiroshima atomic bomb?

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While the graying Hiroshima Generations who survived the atomic bomb attack seven decades ago are struggling to pass their memories to the younger generations, much of the world has allowed that fateful morning on Aug 6, 1945 to slip from their minds.

About 66,000 people, mostly civilians, perished, according to a report prepared by the US Army one year after the attack. Another 69,000 were injured and tens of thousands more were affected by radiation disease.

But how to show the damage more clearly? We've developed an application that allows you to visualize the damage of the same atomic bomb on another location in today's world, such as your hometown. You may be surprised at the extent of the damage.

The estimated damage and fatalities were made based on several reports: The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki prepared by the Manhattan Engineer District, a part of the Manhattan Project that created the atomic bomb, The Effects of Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagaski prepared by the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, and computed data in Medical Effects of the Atomic Bomb in Japan by A. W. Oughterson and S. Warren. The estimation does not take into account the differences in geography and weather.

If you prefer a more scientific estimation of the damage and the options to choose different atomic bombs, Alex Wellerstein, a historian of science at the Stevens Institute of Technology, has created a simulator called Nukemap.

If you wonder what was the damage done to Hiroshima then, the interactive image below shows the aerial photos of Hiroshima before and after the attack. Move the slider to see full images. The bottom image is a Google satellite image of today's Hiroshima.

 

Hiroshima satellite map image today

Google Satellite image showing today's Hiroshima, 70 years after the atomic bomb attack.

UPDATE: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the images showing Hiroshima before and after the bombing are satellite images. We regret the error.

This story is part of the Hiroshima Generations series supported by the United States-Japan Foundation.

A few other stories included in this series:

Marco Werman: The Bomb saved my mom

This Hiroshima survivor's family now includes American in-laws

After the A-bomb survivors die, who will be Hiroshima's memory keepers?