North Korea May Have Detonated 250 Kiloton Bomb

A million people could die in an instant if North Korea decided to drop its nuclear bomb, depending on the target chosen.

Two weeks ago nine.com.au posited the impact of a North Korean nuclear bomb on Australia's cities.

Devastating impact of a nuclear bomb on Sydney © Nukemap/AlexWellerstein Devastating impact of a nuclear bomb on Sydney But since then seismologists and nuclear weapons experts have revised the size of North Korea's atomic weapon from 100 kilotons to a far more devastating 250 kilotons.

As our story indicated, it is unlikely North Korea would choose Australia as a target, with much more tempting targets available for the regime.

The simple and morbid reality is that if a nuclear ICBM could reach Melbourne or Sydney from North Korea, it could just as easily hit major cities in the US, as well as even bigger metropolises closer to home.

The impact of a nuclear bomb on Los Angeles. The inner yellow circle represents the bomb's fireball range. The red circle is the inner blast radius, while the green circle represents the deadliest radiation poisoning zone. © Nukemap/AlexWellerstein The impact of a nuclear bomb on Los Angeles. The inner yellow circle represents the bomb's fireball range. The red circle is the inner blast radius, while the green circle represents the deadliest radiation poisoning zone.

Los Angeles

A 250-kiloton nuclear bomb dropped on the heart of Los Angeles would kill an estimated 191,000 people immediately, according to an estimate from Alex Wellerstein's Nukemap software.

The historian and developer created the Nukemap program to visualise how devastating nuclear weapons would be on world cities.

A bomb dropped on downtown Los Angeles would vaporise its art deco City Hall, a favourite shooting location for neo-noir films like Chinatown, LA Confidential and Gangster Squad.

Almost everybody in a stretch from Chinatown to the Public Library would be killed instantly, with buildings totally flattened by the air blast.

The wider air blast radius would destroy Dodger Stadium, as well as much of the concrete channel of the Los Angeles River, the filming location of iconic scenes in Grease and Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

The Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Sign would be mostly unharmed, but sightseers at the iconic landmarks would be greeted with a horrific sight.

But initial casualties may be considered comparatively light for such a massive city, given Los Angeles' reputation for suburban sprawl.

But millions more would be exposed to the sickening and fatal effects of radiation poisoning as the fallout drifts over the wider metropolis.

Alcatraz (top centre) and the Golden Gate Bridge (top left) would on the edge of a thermal radiation zone if a bomb were to be dropped on San Francisco. © Nukemap/AlexWellerstein Alcatraz (top centre) and the Golden Gate Bridge (top left) would on the edge of a thermal radiation zone if a bomb were to be dropped on San Francisco.

San Francisco

In spite of being a smaller city, the much higher level of population density would make the fatality count in San Francisco significantly higher than Los Angeles.

An atomic attack with a 250-kiloton bomb would kill an estimated 285,000 straight away, if dropped on the intersection between Van Ness Avenue and Market Street.

The air-blast radius would flatten buildings in The Castro and Haight-Ashbury all the way to AT&T Park.

The thermal radiation radius, which would cause serious scarring and disablement from third degree burns, would stretch as far as Alcatraz and Golden Gate Bridge.

A nuclear bomb dropped on New York would flatten most of lower Manhattan and kill hundreds of thousands from Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey. © Nukemap/AlexWellerstein A nuclear bomb dropped on New York would flatten most of lower Manhattan and kill hundreds of thousands from Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey.

New York

But by the far the most devastating target in the US is New York City. North Korea is nowhere close to building an ICBM capable of stretching across the mainland US, so such a target is not possible at this time.

But in this hypothetical, a projected 490,000 people would be killed instantly, if the bomb was dropped on City Hall in lower Manhattan.

A fireball would vaporise the World Trade Centre site, the NYPD Headquarters and the Federal Reserve, ending a block short of Wall Street.

The wider air blast radius would flatten the Williamsburg and Brooklyn Bridges, the East Village, Brooklyn Heights and the apartment block made famous by the sitcom Friends.

The thermal radiation zone would reach as far as Hells Kitchen in Manhattan, Williamsburg in Brooklyn and Hoboken in New Jersey.

Just outside of the blast radius would be Trump Tower, which would be one of the southernmost points of Manhattan still standing.

Hundreds of thousands of people would die if a bomb was dropped on Tokyo. © Nukemap/Alex Wellerstein Hundreds of thousands of people would die if a bomb was dropped on Tokyo.

T

okyo

Tokyo would not fare much better than New York, but the proximity to North Korea and its historical enmity would make it a much more likely target.

An estimated 338,000 people would be killed instantly by the blast, and 800,000 people estimated to be injured.

Shinjuku would be within the air blast radius, as well as the iconic pedestrian crossing at Shibuya.

The thermal radiation radius would stretch from Suginami to the Imperial Palace, but Tokyo Tower would be spared, only by a few blocks.

Shanghai would be perhaps the most devastating target of a nuclear attack. © Nukemap/Alex Wellerstein Shanghai would be perhaps the most devastating target of a nuclear attack.

Shanghai

China has long been North Korea's closest ally, but its approval of strict economic sanctions against the regime shows things have changed. In any case, it is unlikely Kim Jong-un would select China as a target for its nuclear violence.

Which is fortunate, because the death toll of a 250-kiloton bomb dropped on Shanghai would be extraordinarily devastating. 

More than a million people would be killed instantly, according to Dr Wellerstein's estimates, with twice that many injured.

Nanjing Road and The People's Square would be immediately vaporised in a nuclear fireball.

An area stretching from Jing'an to The Bund would be subject to a fatal dose of radiation, with up to 90 percent of residents killed without immediate medical treatment.

The devastating impact of a 250-kiloton bomb dropped on London. © Nukemap/AlexWellerstein The devastating impact of a 250-kiloton bomb dropped on London.

London

The capital of the UK is just about as far away as you can get from North Korea, but a 250-ton nuclear bomb would be devastating to Londoners. 

An estimated 247,000 immediate deaths would occur if a bomb was dropped in the centre of Charing Cross, creating a fireball stretching from Big Ben to the London Eye to Covent Garden Station.

Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Pall Mall would all be vaporised in the blast, with the air blast radius likely flattening an area from Buckingham Palace to the British Museum.

The wider air-blast radius would stretch from The Shard to Madame Tussauds, while Londoners from Brixton to Tufnell Park would suffer serious third-degree burns.

The immediate blast zone would level the Louvre and Notre Dame if dropped on Paris. © Nukemap/AlexWellerstein The immediate blast zone would level the Louvre and Notre Dame if dropped on Paris.

Paris

The death toll would be even higher in Paris, with an estimated 600,000 people killed in the blast.

The immediate air blast radius would destroy The Louvre, Notre Dame, the Bastille and The Pantheon.

Meanwhile, the thermal radiation zone would cause serious burns to Parisians at the Arc de Triomphe, Sacre-Coeur, all the way to the 12thArrondisement.

Red Square and the Kremlin would both be in the fireball zone of a North Korean atomic bomb strike. © Nukemap/AlexWellerstein Red Square and the Kremlin would both be in the fireball zone of a North Korean atomic bomb strike.

Moscow

The capital of Russia would suffer an estimated 243,000 immediate deaths if a 250-kiloton bomb were to be dropped there.

A fireball would consume The Kremlin, Red Square and St Basil's Cathedral if dropped in the centre of the city.

The bomb would also destroy the Bolshoy Theatre, the Moscow Zoo and Moscow Hermitage Garden.

Meanwhile, the thermal blast radius would leave residents stretching from the Maryina Roshcha District all the way to the Khamovniki District.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides on the spot the underwater test-fire of strategic submarine ballistic missile in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency © KCNA/via REUTERS. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides on the spot the underwater test-fire of strategic submarine ballistic missile in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency

Why it won't happen

For all the talk of Kim Jong-un being a madman and his nation being full of warrior fanatics, few experts believe North Korea has any intention of using a bomb.

Instead Pyongyang wants an ICBM to ensure they will not be attacked or invaded, using the weapon as a deterrent rather than a hostile threat.

Nevertheless, the impact of a nuclear weapon is so devastating that there is little wonder the rest of the world wants them out of the hands of a rogue nation. 


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Source : http://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/what-a-north-korean-nuke-would-do/ar-AAsclMy

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