People in Hiroshima Fear Radioactive Rain

Associated Press

It rained Friday in Hiroshima and many residents of the first city devastated by an atomic bomb stayed inside or huddled under umbrellas, fearing that the rain bore contamination from the Soviet nuclear plant disaster.

But officials of the Japan Science and Technology Agency in Tokyo said no abnormal levels of radiation were detected in rains around the country.

“Some people are reacting in a simple-minded way, shielding themselves under umbrellas, being careful not to get wet from the rain today,” said Katsukuni Tanaka, a reporter at Hiroshima Home Television Co.


Meanwhile, an official of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, which studies the victims of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II, volunteered the agency’s services to help the Soviet Union assess damage and treat victims from the accident at its Chernobyl plant.

Japan is especially interested in the catastrophe because nuclear bombs killed an estimated 140,000 people in Hiroshima and as many as 70,000 in Nagasaki in August, 1945.