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After the A-bomb: Hiroshima and Nagasaki then and now – in pictures

Exactly 75 years ago the US dropped an atomic bomb, nicknamed Little Boy, on Hiroshima. Three days later, a second bomb, Fat Man, was dropped on Nagasaki.

The device that exploded over Hiroshima destroyed about two-thirds of the city’s structures in a blinding flash of light. At the time, Hiroshima’s population was approximately 300,000. The atomic bomb immediately killed 80,000 and injured 35,000 more. By the end of 1945, 60,000 more people had died as a result of the blast.

Today, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are a prosperous manufacturing hub with a population of over 1.1 million.

Here’s what the city looks like today and the lingering effects of the bombing:

The gutted Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall – now known as the A-Bomb Dome or the Hiroshima Peace Memorial – after the bombing on 6 August 1945, and the same location near Aioi Bridge in 2015.

Photograph: Toshio Kawamoto/Yoshio Kawamoto/Reuters/Issei Kato

The etched outline of a passerby that was imprinted on the Yorozuyo Bridge after the heat of the bomb. This was 860 metres from the centre of the blast; the asphalt was scorched everywhere except the light area, which was shielded by their body. Today, the bridge has been tiled over.

Photograph: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum/Reuters/Issei Kato

Residents walk near Aioi Bridge in Hiroshima, October 1945, and the bridge today.

Photograph: Shigeo Hayashi/Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum/Reuters/Issei Kato

People walk past the A-Bomb Dome on the Aioi Bridge. Today, cyclists cross the bridge.

Photograph: Shigeo Hayashi/Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum/Reuters/Issei Kato

The shadows of railings cast on the Yorozuyo Bridge road by the heat of the bomb.

Photograph: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum/Reuters/Issei Kato

The ruins of Nagasaki Medical College after the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, three days later.

Photograph: Torahiko Ogawa/Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum /Reuters/Issei Kato

The Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki, which was obliterated on 9 August. The replacement was built in 1959.

Photograph: Shigeo Hayashi/Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum/Reuters/Issei Kato

The south face of Urakami Cathedral in 1945 – and the rebuilt cathedral.

Photograph: Hisashi Ishida/Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum/Reuters/Issei Kato

The ruins of the Shiroyama National School in Nagasaki, and the same road today.

Photograph: Shigeo Hayashi/Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum/Reuters/Issei Kato

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