If you’ve been keeping up with the news, the words “Rocket Man” and “mentally deranged” should ring a bell for you.
Tensions between North Korea and the US have soared following Pyeongyang’s nuclear test and the escalating war of words between the two presidents.
Trump, in his speech to the UN mentioned that he would “destroy” North Korea if it had to defend itself or its allies. Referring to the North Korean leader as “Rocket Man”, he said that the “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself.”
In return, Kim called Trump “mentally deranged” in his response and threatened the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history”.
Remember that scene in the movie Terminator 2 Judgement Day when SkyNet detonated a nuclear bomb in the city?
I’m sure you’ve heard that if a nuclear bomb drops on Singapore, the entire country would be vapourised. Is this true? We decided to put it to the test.
Testing The Bombs
While North Korea has often threatened to start a nuclear war, it is actually the United States and Russia that have the most nuclear weapons in their military arsenal currently.
To give you a sense of the devastation, we used NukeMap, a tool designed by nuclear weapons historian Alex Wellerstein.
First, we will try the bomb the one North Korea tested this year, and then the largest nuclear bomb available in the world right now.
The hydrogen bomb that North Korea claimed to have successfully tested this year resulted in earthquakes of 5.6 and 6.1 magnitude that could be felt in South Korea and Japan. According to the Express, experts say that the energy of the blast could be comparable to at least 150 kilotons worth of TNT.
Detonating a bomb like that in the middle of Singapore would affect an area that looks something like this:
The estimated fatalities would be at 246,370, while the estimated injuries go up to 1,134,500.
Those living near MacRitchie Reservoir – along Toronto Road and Capricorn Drive – are within the Radiation radius, which means that you will probably suffer a slow, painful death. This may take from several hours to weeks.
Many Group Representation Constituency (GRC) boundary lines have to be redrawn at the next General Election if this happens. Areas like Ang Mo Kio, Toa Payoh, and Bukit Timah will all be flattened as they fall within the Air Blast radius. Here, the bomb doesn’t exactly destroy the city but the destruction is still frightening.
Residents of Novena, Tanglin and Toa Payoh are not spared – they’ll end up with third degree burns. They are often painless because these burns extend beyond the skin to destroy the pain nerves. However, they can cause severe scarring and may lead to amputation.
The rest of Singapore is safe, for now.
Does that make you feel small and helpless yet? No? Let’s try the strongest nuclear bomb ever designed in the world—the Tsar Bomba.
The strength of this nuclear weapon is at 100 megatons, more than a thousand times the combined power of the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The Tsar Bomba explodes with a mushroom cloud taller than where commercial airlines fly. It even rises higher than the height of Mount Everest. Here’s how terrifying it would look if ever released in Singapore:
As you can see, the air blast radius alone (3,350 km²) is wider than the whole of Singapore. All buildings will collapse. Your favourite shopping malls, cafes–all gone.
Pulau Tekong is gone too, so no more Basic Military Training. The banks that you put your money in are gone, so not only will everybody die, we all die broke.
As for thermal radiation radius (3rd-degree burns), it spans as wide as 73.7 km (17,080 km²). Basically – everything burns. There will be an estimated 4,611,230 people killed, and a further 2,633,270 injured. In this case, we might actually fare better if Godzilla invades our city.
Given that most nuclear bombs have the same effect as a hydrogen bomb, Singapore is not likely to be completely wiped out in this apocalyptic scenario. Looks like those living at the east and west ends of Singapore finally have something to brag about.