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What would a nuclear bomb detonation look like in Indianapolis?

Posted at 9:25 AM, Oct 28, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS -- As the tensions continue between the United States and North Korea, the possibility of a nuclear attack has become real for the first time in 30 years. 

The threats have continued to escalate since President Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” saying he would "totally destroy" the country if necessary. 

And a North Korean official issued a stern warning to the world that it should take “literally” the country’s threat to test its nuclear weapon above ground.

North Korea carried out the strongest ever of its six nuclear tests in early September, claiming to have used a hydrogen bomb.

If tensions escalated to a critical level, one man wondered what it would look like if a blast reached the U.S.

RELATED | North Korean official: Take hydrogen bomb threat 'literally'

An online tool created by Alex Wellerstein allows you to see the impact if a bomb was detonated in your city - or any city in the United States – and what affect it would have on the area around it.

Wellerstein, an assistant professor of Science and Technology at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, created the NUKEMAP nearly six years ago, but the number of users is growing steadily with the rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

As of Wednesday, over 128 million “detonations” had been tested on the site – almost 30 million of those have come in the past few months alone.

The map allows you to choose your location and the type of bomb that would hit as well as specific options and scenarios. Hitting the “detonate” button will then highlight your city and show you the potential impact zone if a bomb were to hit there – either on the ground or in the air – depending on what you chose.

RELATED | North Korea threatens 'unimaginable strike' on the US

For example, if you detonated a “Tsar Bomb” (which is 100 megatons and the largest USSR bomb designed) in the air in the center of Indianapolis, the impact would be felt as far north as Kokomo and as far south as Bloomington. It would kill roughly 930,000 people and injure another 860,000, according to the map.

A surface bomb would leave a 1400-foot crater in the middle of the city and a radiation radius of over 4 miles that would kill roughly 90 percent of those in its path.

Below is an image of a surface burst for a “Tsar Bomb” in Indianapolis.

In comparison, if you detonated a 10-kiloton weapon in the air (like the one North Korea tested in 2013) it would leave roughly 36,000 people dead and over 54,000 injured.

Below is an image of an air burst for a 10-kiloton bomb.

A surface burst from a 10-kiloton bomb would leave a 100 foot crater in the center of Indianapolis and a fireball radius of about a tenth of a mile. 

 Below is an image of a surface burst for a 10-kiloton bomb.

For a look at more impact areas, including different types of bombs and impact abilities, you can put in your own location on the NUKEMAP. You can also view how impacts in other areas might affect Indianapolis by testing nearby cities.