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Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombings

How many people died because of radiation after the bombings on japan?


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November 05, 2012 7:46AM

Chaotic conditions made accurate accounts most difficult. Some victims were vaporized instantly, many survivors were horribly disfigured, and death from radiation was uncertain-it might not claim its victims for days, weeks, months, or even years.

The initial death count in Hiroshima, set at 42,000-93,000, was based solely on the disposal of bodies, and was thus much too low. Later surveys covered body counts, missing persons, and neighborhood surveys during the first months after the bombing, yielding a more reliable estimate of 130,000 dead as of November 1945. A similar survey by officials in Nagasaki set its death toll at 60,000-70,000. (Its plutonium bomb was more powerful, but its destructive range was limited by surrounding hills and mountains).

Additional counts indicated high levels of short-term mortality in both cities:

-Over 90% of persons within 500 meters (1,600 ft.) of ground zero in both cities died.

-At 1.5 km (almost one mile), over 2/3 were casualties, and 1/3 died.

-Of those at a distance of 2 km (1.2 mi.), half were casualties, 10% of whom died.

-Casualties dropped to 10% at distances over 4 km (2.4 mi.)