Dec 29, 2008

How Much Damage Can a Nuclear Bomb Cause?

How Much Damage Can a Nuclear Bomb Cause?

Written by Amit Agarwal on December 22, 2008 

Nuclear weapons cause catastrophic damage but have you ever wondered what would be the actual extent of destruction if atomic bombs of various intensity were dropped on some city?

nuclear bomb damage
Project damage from Nuclear Bombs in New Delhi

For instance, the map of the left illustrates the damage radius if a B61 gravity bomb exploded in some part of Delhi while the right aerial map illustrates damage that can be caused by Russia's Tsar Bomba - the largest and most powerful hydrogen bomb ever detonated.

To calculate the devastating effect of nuclear bombs on any city, go to Ground Zero - this is a Google Maps mashup that gives an idea of the damage radius that can be caused by various nuclear bombs.

You search for a location on the Google Map and then select the type of bomb ranging from Little Boy to a massive Asteroid that possibly eliminated dinosaurs from our planet.

While the "Ground Zero" program does not take into account real-life factors like the terrain, mountains or height of the explosion, it does give you a good idea of the kind of damage these nuclear weapons are capable of.

According to Encarta, the damage radius increases with the power of the nuclear bomb, approximately in proportion to its cube root. If exploded at the optimum height, therefore, a 10-megaton weapon, which is 1,000 times as powerful as a 10-kiloton weapon, will increase the distance tenfold, that is, out to 17.7 km (11 mi) for severe damage and 24 km (15 mi) for moderate damage of a frame house.

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