GUAM DEMONSTRATORS REMEMBER BIKINI BLAST

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By Katie Worth

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Mar. 1) - Anti-nuclear activists are scheduled to hold a demonstration today in remembrance of those who lost their health and lives to nuclear bombs in the Pacific.

Fifty years ago today, the U.S. military detonated the 15-megaton hydrogen bomb "Bravo," with the force of 1,000 Hiroshima bombs, on a tiny atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

The military evacuated the residents of Bikini atoll in the Marshall Islands before destroying it, but just hours before the detonation, high-altitude winds shifted east, and those winds carried radioactive dust and other fallout to islands hundreds of miles away, Pacific Daily News files state.

Within hours, hundreds of those islanders, as well as U.S. weather observers and Japanese fishermen in the area, were suffering from burns, nausea, diarrhea, itching, peeling skin, sores and lost hair and nails, files state.

That explosion was neither the first nor the last nuclear experiment the U.S. government would carry out in the Pacific during the Cold War, but it was probably the most devastating in the Marshalls, said Fanai Castro, an indigenous rights activist and one of the organizers of today's demonstration.

Castro said the event today is intended to remember those affected by Bravo and other bombs in the Pacific, and also to advocate for the end of all nuclear testing.

"We are demonstrating solidarity with our brothers and sisters from the Marshalls, and all who have suffered from the after-effects of radiation fallout and contamination," she said.

March 1, 2004

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

 

 

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