• Short Summary

    Twenty-six years ago, the world first witnessed the horrors of atomic warfare. On the morning?

  • Description

    Twenty-six years ago, the world first witnessed the horrors of atomic warfare. On the morning of 6 August 1945, an atomic bomb floated towards the earth at the end of a parachute, to lay waste the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Two hundred and sixty thousand people - two thirds of the city's population died as a result of the blast or the radiation sickness that followed it. Within a week of the explosion, Japan had suffered and World War two drew to a close.

    Today, Hiroshima is a prosperous industrial centre of half a million people. But the legacy of the bomb lives on in both body and mind. Some 90,000 people are still suffering from the after-effects of nuclear radiation. Doctors are not willing concede that children of survivors will escape genetic effects. High sickness and death rates make loans hard to come by, while many companies are said to want little contact with the symbols of a tragic time. It is this daily prejudice which has drive many abroad and some to suicide Hiroshima cannot forget its past.

    SYNOPSIS: Hiroshima, 26 years ago, where the world was first introduced to the atomic bomb. At 8.15 on that August morning, a blinding purple light and a red cloud reduced this southern Japanese city to a barren wilderness.

    Two hundred and sixty thousand people - two thirds of the city's population - perished. Human beings, machines, cars and houses were vaporised by the million-degree heat.

    Fires swept through the city, leaving only a few gaunt reminders of what had bean a thriving community.

    Within 24 hours of the explosion came the first evidence of the horrors of yet another and unknown killer - radiation poisoning.

    Thousand of survivors were treated at makeshift field units, after many had already died from lack of medical help. Most of Hiroshima's doctors had perished in the initial blast, hospitals had been demolished.

    The scars that linger on are keloid burns such as those on patients at the Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital.

    No patient can enter the hospital without a special bomb survivor's card, proving they were within 3,000 metres of the bomb's hypocentre. The hospital also handles more than 40,000 outpatients for after-effects.

    And science is unearthing further frightening statistics..
    The commission - an American-Japanese organisation - maintains data on 15,000 survivors exposed to radiation and 5,000 remain unexposed. A computer-controlled survey revealed high rates of leukaemia and cancer in survivors who were young children or in their mother's womb in August 1945. Among those under 10 years old at that time, the stigma of radiation continues to appear as forms of cancer or malignant tumours. This group's death rate is significantly higher than the Japanese average and there is no sign that the peak has been reached.

    And if you're in your late twenties and from Hiroshima, it's hard to find a marriage partner.

    The couple at this Shinto ceremony defied an everyday fear - of bomb survivors producing malformed or mentally retarded children. statistically at least they are four times as likely to fall ill.

    Through Peace Park and its memorial, the city remembers her dead. But this homage to the past is only one side of the emotional legacy.

    Many young in this new prosperous city of half a million complain of discrimination. Their health is considered suspect and many employers are unwilling to take on such symbol of a tragic time. Hiroshima is rebuilt but it cannot cover up its past.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVANZ8ETIBG9QT3NJ60LH14QTCL
    Media URN:
    VLVANZ8ETIBG9QT3NJ60LH14QTCL
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    02/08/1971
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:04:15:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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