हिंदी साहित्य: पेन ड्राइव कोर्स
This just in:

Science & Technology

Hiroshima Black Rain

  • 31 Jul 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, a district court of Hiroshima (Japan) has recognised 84 survivors of the post-nuclear explosion “black rain” as the atomic bomb survivors enabling them to avail benefits like free medical care.

Key Points

  • Nuclear Explosion:
    • In 1945, the USA dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6th and 9th August respectively, which marked the end of World War II.
      • 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the incident.
    • The explosion and resultant firestorms are believed to have killed around 80,000 people in Hiroshima and around 40,000 people in Nagasaki.
    • Thousands more died in the following years due to the exposure to radiation from the blast and also from the black rain that fell in the aftermath of the explosions.
  • Black Rain:
    • The debris and soot from the destroyed buildings in Hiroshima (estimated 69% of the buildings was destroyed) mixed with the radioactive fallout from the bomb, rose high into the atmosphere in the form of a mushroom cloud.
    • This material combined with the vapour in the atmosphere and came down as dark drops of liquid that have been called black rain.
    • Survivors describe it as consisting of large, greasy drops that are much heavier than normal raindrops.
    • Nagasaki witnessed less black rain despite the fact that the nuclear bomb dropped on it was more powerful than Hiroshima’s.
      • It killed fewer people and its effects were confined to a smaller area because of Nagasaki’s geographical position between hills.
      • The blast did not produce firestorms and the material contributing to black rain was less.
  • Effects:
    • Black rain is full of highly radioactive material and exposure to it can result in serious illnesses.
    • A study conducted in 1945 showed that black rain had come down as far as 29 km away from ground zero.
      • In relation to nuclear explosions and other large bombs, ground zero is the point on the Earth's surface closest to a detonation.
      • In the case of an explosion above the ground, ground zero is the point on the ground directly below the nuclear detonation and is sometimes called the hypocenter.
    • The rain contaminated everything it came in contact with. Dead fish were reported floating in water bodies and severely ill cattle were seen lying in the fields.
    • Black rain caused Acute Radiation Symptoms (ARS) in many who were exposed to it.
      • These symptoms include nausea, diarrhoea, fever, sore throat and loss of hair.
    • Over time, many people who were exposed to black rain have developed cancer as well.
  • Addition to Survivors:
    • In 1976, Japan used a 1945 study to demarcate the area within which people could claim to have been affected by black rain and be recognised as survivors of the nuclear blast.
    • It allowed people living in the area during the time of the black rain to avail free medical care and other benefits if they showed symptoms related to radiation exposure.
    • However, later studies have shown that black rain could have come down on an area nearly four times the size of the one demarcated by the government.
    • It was also argued that people who moved to the area later, could also be affected by the radioactive contamination caused by the rain.
  • Effects of the Ruling:
    • The Hiroshima District Court ruling recognises the plaintiffs as Hibakusha (Japanese term for the survivors of the nuclear blasts).
    • It gives hope to many others because the decision may pave the way for the government to reconsider the limits it has set on who can be considered a survivor of the atomic bomb.

Source: IE

SMS Alerts
 

Please login or register to view note list

close

Please login or register to list article as bookmarked

close
 

Please login or register to make your note

close

Please login or register to list article as progressed

close

Please login or register to list article as bookmarked

close