The Greater East Asia War And The — страница 2

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roofs of those near the center of the explosion collapsed. Some of the buildings were flattened and became piles of rubble. A fierce fire followed destruction by the violent blast caused by the explosion. Every building within one kilometer of the hypocenter was totally destroyed by the fire whether it was wooden or reinforced concrete. The buildings located one to two kilometers from the center were mostly destroyed by the fire, and those two to three kilometers from the center were partially destroyed. Hiroshima Prefectural Government Hall, which was a wooden building 900 meters from the hypocenter, was flattened and burned. Hiroshima City Hall (1.2 kilometers from the center) also caught fire and the entire building was gutted, although the main shell of the hall which was

reinforced concrete, was left standing. Mayor Awaya died at his home and a great many officials were killed in their offices. The A-bomb destroyed all levels of administration, transportation facilities, including railroads, the communication system, journalism, offices, factories of private and public corporations, and all other facilities. The total destruction of these facilities caused such great confusion that it was utterly impossible to grasp the number of dead and wounded. Army troops deployed around Hiroshima Castle, which was the center of Hiroshima as a military city, were nearly annihilated. On the evening of August 6, Vice Inspector General Hattori of the Chugoku District Superintendent’s Office, Director of Hiroshima Prefectural Police Ishihara, and Governor

Takano, who had returned from a business trip, gathered at Tamon-in Temple at the entrance to Hijiyama Park. They formed both a temporary prefectural government office and a temporary air-defence headquarters. Thirteen hours later they reported the disastrous situation and asked for help from the central government and other related organizations. Therefore relief activities on the day of the explosion were limited to the Akatsuki Corps sent from Ujina, naval personnel sent from the naval base at Kure, and a few small hospitals which survived the disaster. 3.4 Life in the Burnt-out City About a month after the A-bomb was dropped, the temporary first-aid stations established in hospitals and schools around the city, gradually returned to normalcy. People who had escaped to the

suburbs began to come back one by one to the city which had become a wide stretch of burnt-out ruins. They built shacks made of tin sheets dug out of the ruins and started life again. However, back in the city, they experienced a state of lethargy since there were no companies or factories to employ them, there was not enough food to eat, and they were worried about developing A-bomb related diseases. At that time, a typhoon hit the city. It raged from the middle of the night on September 17 to the next morning. The burnt city was completely sub-merged and the air-raid shelters and shacks in which the A-bomb survivors lived were destroyed. The people were hard hit, losing their place to sleep and what little belongings they had. Quite a few of them gave up living in the city and

went back to the countryside again. After the typhoon had passed, autumn suddenly arrived. Beautiful weather continued for some time and green weeds started to grow here and there in the burnt city. The plants were horseweed, which grew as tall as an adult person. Using the horseweed as a main ingredient, dumplings were made and sold in Eba and other areas which had remained unburnt. People who could go no longer on an empty stomach ate them to relieve their hunger, though they were unappetizing. According to foreign news dispatches, Hiroshima, contaminated by radio- activity, would be barren for the next 70 years and no one would be able to live there. However, finding green weeds starting to grow again, hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) were given new hope for life. Around the

middle of September, elementary school children who had been evacuated returned to the city and schools were reopened in the burnt- out shells of ferroconcrete buildings. However, many classes had to be held outside and there were no teaching materials. Moreover the children could not concentrate on their studies because of their empty stomachs. Among those children who had returned were some who had lost their homes, parents, and brothers and sisters. Some of them were eventually either put in the custody of relatives living at a distance or adopted. Around that time, black-market stalls were opened by discharged soldiers and people from other areas along the streets where people gathered in front of Hiroshima Station, and were doing a good business. However, many hibakusha