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What if a 50-Megaton Bomb Exploded Over Manhattan?

Oct. 31, 1961 - If exploded in the air over downtown Manhattan, a 50-megaton bomb would destroy homes as far away as Passaic, N.J. and ignite fires as far away as West Point, N.Y. Beneath its massive fireball, the bomb, with its hurricane-like blast wave and intense burst of radiation, would cause total destruction to buildings and life within about a five-mile circle encompassing lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, Hoboken, and Jersey City. The intense heat of the explosion would cause fatal burns and ignite homes up to 35 miles away. The 50-megaton bomb is by far the most horrendous weapon ever developed by man. It is 2,500 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima and about twice as large as the biggest hydrogen bombs now carried by U.S. bombers. However, it is worth noting that two 20-megaton bombs, dropped a few miles apart, would create more widespread destruction than one 50-megaton weapon.


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