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What a nuclear attack on Indian, or Pakistani, cities will look like

5 August 2015

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The Indian Express, 5 August 2015

This is what a nuclear attack on Indian, or Pakistani, cities will look like. And it is scary as hell
New tool lets you assess impact nuclear bombs could have on any part of the world.

by Nandagopal Rajan

US bombed Hiroshima on August 9, 1945 and Nagasaki three days later.

Tomorrow will mark the seventieth anniversary of the US dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima, and Nagasaki three days later. While the world has been spared a large nuclear attack ever since, the threat of such an attack is still very real in many parts of the world including India.

According to estimates, the twin bombings on Japan resulted in at least 1,29,000 deaths. Many thousands were maimed or injured for life. Generations that followed were also affected.

Now, a new tool called Nukemap, created by nuclearsecrecy.com with sponsorship from the College of Arts and Letters, Stevens Institute of Technology lets anyone check the impact of such a bomb on their hometown. The app has presets for yield of the bomb, ranging from the one dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the 100mt Tsar Bomba, the largest ever created by USSR.

We checked what the impact would be if Pakistan’s largest tested bomb (45kt) was dropped on strategic Indian cities.

This bomb would have a fireball radius of 280 m (0.25 km²) and a radiation radius (500 rem) of 1.16 km (4.25 km²). The air blast radius (5 psi) is about 2.5 km (19.6 km²) and the thermal radiation radius (3rd degree burns) is 3.05 km (29.3 km²). The impact would be more if the detonation is closer to ground.

Chandigarh: 228,220 fatalities and 489,340 estimated injuries as in any given 24-hour period, there are approximately 1,316,326 people in the 1 psi range of the most recent detonation.

New Delhi: 367,900 fatalities and 1,285,180 injuries. In any given 24-hour period, there are approximately 3,828,877 people in the 1 psi range of the most recent detonation.

Mumbai: 586,120 fatalities, 2,037,320 injuries. In any given 24-hour period, there are approximately 5,959,925 people in the 1 psi range of the most recent detonation.

On the other hand, this is the impact on the Pakistan capital if the largest tested Indian bomb (60kt) was dropped there. The 60 kiloton bomb has a fireball radius of 310 m (0.31 km²) and a radiation radius (500 rem) of 1.16 km (4.22 km²). The air blast radius (5 psi) is 2.75 km and the thermal radiation radius (3rd degree burns) is 3.48 km (38 km²).

Islamabad: 142,450 fatalities, 260,050 injuries. In any given 24-hour period, there are approximately 774,398 people in the 1 psi range of the most recent detonation.

© The Indian Express Online Media Pvt Ltd

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P.S.

The above article from The Indian express is reproduced here for educational and non commercial use