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Hiroshima Bomb Visualization Tool Shows Reach Of Devastating Device On Your Own City

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What would happen if an atomic bomb hit Edmonton? Halifax? Saskatoon?

The horrors of such an event would be unfathomable, but a tool released by Public Radio International (PRI) gives a visualization of the devastating impact an atomic bomb can have.

The media company's application uses Google Maps to plot the devastation wrought by Little Boy, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, on any city the user chooses.

hiroshima
An atomic cloud billows, following the explosion of the first atomic bomb to be used in warfare in Hiroshima, Japan, in this handout photo taken by the U.S. Army on Aug. 6, 1945. (Photo: Reuters/U.S. Army/Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum/Handout)

The tool's estimations come from several reports on the devastating bomb, which killed around 140,000 people. It divides areas surrounding the bomb into four zones.

The innermost zone, shown as a red circle, includes everything 0.8 kilometres away from the blast. PRI says 90 per cent of people in this area would be killed, while surviving women who are pregnant would suffer miscarriages because of radiation.

Toronto's downtown core, for example, would be decimated in such a scenario:


The second zone, 1.6 kilometres away from the centre, would see 70 per cent of people killed. "Everything up to this distance is completely destroyed by heavy fire from the explosion at ground zero," the tool says.

In Vancouver, that zone alone would reach from Canada Place to B.C. Place:


Buildings in the third zone, 4.8 kilometres away from the epicentre, would be "heavily destroyed."

This area would blanket Calgary:


The final and biggest zone (light yellow) would affect anything within a 19-kilometre radius from where the bomb was dropped. Structures are "safe" in this area but windows could be broken.

Here's how the bomb's impact would look like mapped over several Canadian cities today:

Winnipeg:


Whitehorse:


Halifax:


Regina:


Montreal:


Yellowknife:


Ottawa:


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