Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

At 11:02 a.m. on Aug. 9, 1945, the bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man,” exploded approximately 500 meters above Nagasaki, Japan. It instantly killed an estimated 70,000 of the city’s population. Three days earlier, on Aug. 6, 1945, an American B-29 Superfortress bomber called Enola Gay dropped a uranium-235 bomb on Hiroshima, eventually killing at least 140,000 people. It was the first and only time nuclear weapons have been used. Their destructive power was unprecedented, incinerating buildings and people and leaving lifelong scars on survivors, not just physical but also psychological, and on the cities themselves. Days later, World War II was over.

On the 72nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki and amid growing tension between Washington and North Korea, here’s a look back at that fateful event. (AP/Getty images)

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Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

The flight crews of two planes go over planes for the dropping of the first atomic bombs. The middle-aged man in the center is Lt. Col. Payette. On the left, in the foreground in profile is Lt. Ralph Devore. The man looking over Payette’s shoulder is Major Chuck Sweeney. Sweeney commanded and Devore flew with the mission to drop the second bomb on Nagasaki. To the right in profile are Lts. Thomas Ferebee (in cap, with mustache) and Morris Jeppson, both of whom flew with the first mission to bomb Hiroshima. (Photo: Corbis via Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

Men who helped drop the second war-stopping atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, study a map of their objective shortly before the take off of the B-29 “77” which dropped the bomb on Aug. 9, 1945. Left to right: Capt. Theo J. Van Kirk, navigator, who also made flight aboard the ‘Enola Gay’ when it dropped the first atom bomb on Hiroshima; Major Sweeney, commanding officer of the 393 bomb squadron and pilot. (Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

View of the radioactive plume from the bomb dropped on Nagasaki City, as seen from 9.6 km away, in Koyagi-jima, Japan, Aug. 9, 1945. The U.S. B-29 superfortress Bockscar dropped the atomic bomb nicknamed ‘Fat Man,’ which detonated above the ground, on northern part of Nagasaki City just after 11am. (Photo: Hiromichi Matsuda/Handout from Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum/Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

Battered religious figures rest among the rubble of Nagasaki after the atomic bombing of the city by American armed forces on Aug. 9, 1945. (Photo: Corbis via Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

Smoke billows over the Japanese city of Nagasaki after an atomic bomb was dropped on the city Aug. 9, 1945. (Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

One building still stands in a cityscape devastated by the atom bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. (Photo: Corbis via Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

The shapes of a man and ladder on the wooden wall of a factory is seen about 4 km away from where the atomic bomb ‘Fat Man’ was dropped on an unknown day of August, 1945 in Nagasaki, Japan. The areas shadowed by a man and ladder remained unburnt by the energy of the ‘Fat Man’ bomb dropped in Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945. (Photo: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

Only the reinforced concrete buildings of the Nagasaki Medical College hospital remain standing after the United States dropped its second atomic bomb on Aug. 9, 1945. The hospital was located 800 meters from ground zero of the atomic bomb explosion. (Photo: Corbis via Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

General view in July 1946 of the Nagasaki Medical School in Japan. It was located at about one kilometer from where the American atomic bomb was dropped. The structure of the buildings held but debris and fallen trees are everywhere. One year after the explosion, the ruins of the bombing are still in evidence. The city, which is still radio-active, has been deserted by the survivors. (Photo: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

A child with her mother in Nagasaki on the morning after the dropping of the atomic bomb, Aug. 10, 1945. Both have received a rice dumpling from emergency supplies. They were 1.5 km southeast of the Epicenter. (Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

Nagasaki in ruins after the atomic bombing of Aug. 9, 1945. (Photo: Roger Viollet/Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

Keloids cover the back of a survivor of the Nagasaki atomic bomb. Keloids are dense, fibrous growths that grow over scar tissue. (Photo: Corbis via Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

Devastation left after an atomic bomb exploded over Nagasaki, Japan, on Aug. 9 1945. No precise date is given for the photo, which was taken not long after the explosion. (Photo: U.S. Signal Corps/AP)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

The remains of Mitsubishi steel plant, which was 1 1/2 miles from where the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb in Nagasaki, Japan. (Photo: Bernard Hoffman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

A small atomic bomb survivor receives a treatment at temporary hospital set at Shin Kozen Elementary School on Sept. 23, 1945 in Nagasaki, Japan. (Photo: Yasuo Tomishige/The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

Almost nothing remained of this district in Nagasaki, Japan, as the result of the atomic bomb attack. (Photo: Corbis via Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

August 1945 damage from the atomic bombing of the Japanese City of Nagasaki at the end of world war two. (Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

The hospital at Nagasaki Medical College, located only 800 meters from ground zero, was destroyed when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city at the end of World War II on Aug. 9. 1945. Only the reinforced concrete buildings remain standing. (Photo: Corbis via Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

A young man lies on a mat with burns covering his body, after falling victim to the explosion of the atom bomb over Nagasaki, Japan, 1945. (Photo: Corbis via Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

A Japanese civilian pushes his loaded bike down a path which has been cleared of the rubble. On either side of the path debris, twisted metal, and gnared tree stumps fill the area in Nagasaki on Sept. 13, 1945. This is in the center of the devasted area. (Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

Remains of trolley car in foreground, 2 1/2 miles from where the U.S.dropped an atomic bomb in Nagasaki, 1945 (Photo: Bernard Hoffman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

Former business district of Nagasaki in Sept. 1945 where 18,000 hotels, office buildings and homes once stood before the total devastation of the U.S. atomic bomb dropped a month earlier. (Photo: Bernard Hoffman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

A female Nagasaki atomic bomb victim receives a treatment at Shin Kozen Elementary School in Aug. 1945 in Nagasaki, Japan. (Photo: Yasuo Tomishige/The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

Completely destroyed Urakami Cathedral is seen, 500 meters from the epicenter of Nagasaki atomic bomb, in Aug. 1945 in Japan. (Photo: Eiichi Matsumoto/The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

Destroyed Urakami Cathedral is see just after the atomic bomb was dropped in Aug. 1945 in Nagasaki, Japan. (Photo: Yasuo Tomishige/The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

Four months after the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki, an unidentified person stands beside a seared tree amid ruins and rubble, Nagasaki, Japan, Dec. 9, 1945. (Photo: Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

Lieutenant Colonel Kermit Beahan, who dropped an atomic Bomb in Nagasaki, is shown in Chicago Ill., on Sept. 19, 1945. (Photo: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

This is the type of atomic bomb exploded over Nagasaki, Japan, in World War II, the Atomic Energy Commission and Defense Department said in releasing this photo in Washington, Dec. 6, 1960. The weapon, known as the ‘Fat Man’ type, is 60 inches in diameter and 128 inches long. The second nuclear weapon to be detonated, it weighed about 10,000 pounds and had a yield equivalent to approximately 20,000 tons of high explosive. (Photo: AP)

Nagasaki after the atomic bomb

The crew of the United States Army Air Forces B-29 Superfortress ‘Bockscar’, which dropped the atomic bomb ‘Fat Man’ on the Japanese city of Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945. Front row, left to right: flight engineer John D. Kuharek, gunner and assistant flight engineer Ray Gallagher, tail gunner Albert Dehart, radio operator Abe Spitzer, unknown. Back row, left to right: bombardier Raymond ‘Kermit’ Beahan, navigator James Van Pelt, co-pilot Charles Donald Albury, co-pilot Fred Olivi and pilot Major General Charles W. Sweeney. (Photo: FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)