Hiroshima, Nagasaki survivors 70 years later

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By Euronews
Hiroshima, Nagasaki survivors 70 years later

August 1945.

The United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japanese towns.

One on Hiroshima on August 6th; another fell on Nagasaki three days later.

More than 200,000 people died; many more had to live with the effects of that attack for the rest of their lives.

Survivors after the atomic bomb. Sumiteru Taniguchi was 16-years old when when the bomb fell on Nagasaki.

“I was thrown to the ground and my back burnt instantaneously. I felt the ground shaking and thought I was going to die. As things calmed down, I realized the skin on my left arm, from the shoulder to the tip of my fingers, was trailing down like a rag. I felt no pain. I put my hand to my back and found my shirt was gone and something black and slimy was all over my hand. My bicycle was completely twisted like candy.”

Seventy years later, thousands of survivors are still being treated at a Red Cross hospital there.

Doctors say a recent study has uncovered new findings.

“Until now, it was believed that there was no link between the radiation exposure and blood vessel related illnesses. However, as the atomic survivors get older, many of them have suffered from heart attacks and angina. Our study shows a clear link between the amount of radiation exposure and illnesses related to blood vessels,” said Dr Masao Tomonaga, honorary director of the Japanese Red Cross Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Hospital.

There are currently eight world powers who admit to having nuclear weapons.

But a UN conference on non-proliferation last May ended in New York with very little in the way of concrete results