The effects of the bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were tremendously devastating. Both land and life had been destroyed in a matter of seconds. On the day the “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima 80,000 people lost their lives followed by another 19,000 in the next months alone. In Nagasaki, 39,000 people were immediately killed and the death toll climbed to 75,000 in the years to follow ( Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Subsequent Weapons Testing).
The flash and the heat caused by the explosion created several immediate, disturbing effects. People and things simply dissolved with the explosion. Elements of stone fused into one another. Shadows of people were etched into stone, and are still visible even today. People farther away who were not protected from the direct heat rays were burned, and the severity depended on how far away they were. However, people as far as two and a half miles away were burned on bare skin (Marx 200).
The mushroom cloud from the impact of the bomb could be seen as far as 100 miles away. Since the bomb had been dropped from a high altitude, much of the force had been exerted downward. This downward force caused roofs and pillars to be driven straight down into the earth. Since the Nagasaki terrain was composed of hills and mountains, winds moved upward as air was drawn toward the center of the burning area creating a “fire storm.” This caused winds to increase; the wind soared from only 5 miles per hour to 30-40 miles per hour so the fire spread even quicker, which also claimed more lives of people who could’ve actually escaped (The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Characteristics of Damage Caused by the Atomic Bombs). The tremendous wind also caused a "storm" of flying glass. The flying glass and debris killed many people and accounted for much of the casualties (Marx 200).
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“ Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Subsequent Weapons Testing.” The Avalon Project at Yale Law School. 5 Aug. 2005. 5 Aug 2005. <http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/abomb/mp12.htm >
Marx, Joseph L. Seven Hours to Zero. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1967.
“The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Characteristics of Damaged Caused by the Atomic Bombs” The Avalon Project at Yale Law School. 5 Aug. 2005 5 Aug 2005. <http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/abomb/mp12.htm>