Sunday, May 27, 2007


What Would Happen if a 20 Megaton Nuclear Explosion on a City of 3 Million?

Ground Zero

Within 1/100th of a second, a fireball would form in every direction from ground zero enveloping downtown and reaching out for two miles.

Temperatures would rise to 20 million degrees Fahrenheit, and everything — buildings, trees, cars, and people - would he vaporized.

2 to 4 Miles from Ground ZeroThe blast would produce pressures of 25 pounds per square inch and winds in excess of 650 miles per hour. These titanic forces would rip buildings apart and level everything, including reinforced concrete and steel structures. Even deep underground bomb shelters would be crushed.

4 to 10 Miles from Ground ZeroThe heat would vaporize automobile sheet metal. Glass would melt. At this distance, the blast wave would create pressures of 7 to 10 pounds per square inch and winds of 200 miles per hour. Masonry and wood frames would be leveled.

16 Miles from Ground ZeroThe heat would ignite all easily flammable materials -houses, paper, cloth, leaves, gasoline, heating fuel - starting hundreds of thousands of fires.

Fanned by blast winds still in excess of 100 miles per hour, these fires would merge into a giant firestorm more than 30 miles across and covering 800 square miles. Everything within this entire area would be consumed by flames. Temperatures would rise to 1400° F. The death rate would approach 10070!

Beyond 16 Miles

The blast would still produce pressures of two pounds per square inch, enough to shatter glass windows and turn each of them into hundreds of lethal missiles flying outward from the center at 100 miles per hour.

At 29 miles, the heat would be so intense that all exposed skin, not protected by clothing, would suffer third degree burns. Even as far as 40 miles from ground zero anyone who turned to gaze at the sudden flash of light would be blinded by burns on the retina and at the back of their eyes.

Within minutes after the bomb exploded 1,000,000 would die. Among the 1,800,000 survivors, more than 1,100,000 would be fatally injured.

Another 500,000 would have major medical injuries from which they might recover if they received adequate medical care.

Less than 200,000 people would remain without injuries - with very few doctors and with only limited medical facilities.


ChrisBFL said...

Interesting post on the effects of a 20 Megaton Nuke. I have a novel being relased in January called "The Hive". It is a classic invasion story and includes an attack on San Diego. The alien weapon is quite a bit larger than 20 megtatons however. Here is that excerpt from The Hive. Hope you like it and look for the book in January.


The Hive did not possess emotions in any way like that of human beings, but the agitation of the Fleet Queen reached to point where she picked up a mindless male mating drone and smashed him to a broken pulp against her ship’s metal decking. She ceased to produce eggs as hormones drove what could only be called rage through her bloated body. The Fleet Queen ordered three more carriers and a suppression ship to descend and begin destroying the soft-life cities on the two connected land masses opposite that of the matter destroying weapon.
The huge vessels descended to low Earth orbit to begin releasing attack craft as the resistance suppression ship fired nuclear tipped missiles at the coast of California. The BMEWS early warning radars picked up eight incoming alien warheads and transmitted the data to ground based particle beam defense sites. As the radar array across Northern Canada tracked the descending vessels, the particle beam cannons traced a path across the sky and locked on to their targets. At an altitude of sixty miles, the weapons fired and destroyed six of the incoming warheads. The insectoid Warrior Cast drones on the suppression ship traced the weapon’s energy pulse to Indian Wells at the China Lake Navel Weapons Center and fired a withering blast of plasma energy that obliterated the particle beam cannons as well as all of the surrounding support facilities. The two remaining Hive nuclear weapons continued their descent. Now all that could stop them were batteries of Patriot PAC-4 missiles. A bank of twenty-four raced upward to intercept the two warheads, but again, the suppression ship fired one of its plasma weapons, destroying twenty of the defensive interceptor missiles. Two locked onto the warhead that was on a direct course for Los Angles and destroyed it one hundred thousand feet above the city. The other two Patriot missiles missed their target. Of the eight nuclear devices fired from space only one got through, but one was enough to do incalculable damage.
At five kilometers over the city of San Diego the weapon detonated. Like all Hive nuclear weapons it did not use a fission explosion to initiate hydrogen fusion, but instead utilized the same device that fired their fusion drives. This increased the practical limit of such a bomb far beyond anything built by human beings. At 09:30 hours everything from Escondido, California to Esenada, Mexico ceased to exist. The supersonic blast wave flattened buildings as far north as Temecula and sent a five hundred foot high wall of water across the Gulf of Santa Catalina, drowning San Clemete and Catalina Islands and washing away everything on the coast from Oceanside to Long Beach California. The heat pulse from the explosion ignited the Cleveland National Forest and reduced the domes of the Palomar Observatory to melted lumps of metal. In all, over three million human beings perished in the blink of an eye.
The Alien suppression ship fired its thrusters and altered course to launch more nuclear weapons at the cities of San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. As the huge vessel changed orbit, the Warrior Cast drones monitoring the ship’s tactical displays detected what appeared to be yet another one of the orbiting soft-life’s communications satellites. They would pass the spherical object by less than five hundred meters. As the invaders drew closer, the orbiting object detected the heat signature of the city size vessel as well as its great mass disrupting the gravitation field around the Earth. Sensing no transponder signal from the huge object, the computer program inside the orbiting nuclear mine closed a series of circuits that fired the charges to implode a plutonium core. Within one-ten thousandth of a second the core was squeezed to half its size as the unstable atomic mass of element ninety-four began to split apart. This in turn increased the heat and pressure of the deuterium-tritium core which began to fuse into helium isotopes. When the alien ship came abreast of the device, it was seared by the fireball of a seven hundred kiloton explosion, gouging a three hundred meter long crescent out of the center of the spacecraft. Huge secondary explosions followed as the gigantic vessel broke apart and began a fiery descent into the Earth’s atmosphere, glowing red and then white hot before smashing into the ground with the impact of a small asteroid in the northern Nevada desert.

N the Ninja said...

Well, those are very accurate only you got one thing wrong:
"1,000,000 would die, and among the 1,800,000 survivors, 1,100,000 would be 'fatally inured'"
wouldn't that be 2,100,000 dead?