Which are the 6 U.S. cities most likely to be attacked in case of a nuclear war?

The disaster that nobody is prepared for: a nuclear bomb striking the U.S. Although this is very unlikely to happen, specialists do not take it out of the equation. The unstable political situation between the U.S. and North Korea, but Russia as well, represents a real threat to our country, so here you can find the 6 most likely cities to be directly affected.

Given the context, many of us believed that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine would be over by now. But surprisingly enough, Ukraine has put up a huge fight against its opponent. Because many countries stand with Ukraine and are against war, including the U.S., Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has become more and more aggressive and is threatening those who take action in this conflict.

With Ukraine not being part of NATO, there’s not much that can be done to help its army. However, multiple regions and companies have tried to help in other ways. For example, the U.S. and its companies have taken actions to destabilize Russia’s economy, in an attempt to stop the war. Such sanctions include: closing down stores in Russia, sending money, equipment, ammunition, and things that can help resist the invasion.

Should we be afraid?

In regards to how safe the U.S. is, each state has an emergency plan that entails mobilizing first responders, providing urgent refuge for evacuation, and decontaminating radiation-exposed people.

A disaster that no one is prepared for is the case in which Putin decides to send a nuclear bomb in our country. With the U.S. being part of NATO, this implies the start of World War III, and in the hypothetical situation in which both countries decide to use all their nuclear power, could even result in the end of humanity. Luckily, that is very unlikely to happen, but that doesn’t mean that the possible danger has been excluded.

What Do Experts Say?

According to experts, the most endangered areas are: New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and San Francisco. This is because these cities are large and highly populated, but have important infrastructural facilities as well, that are crucial to the U.S. economy and overall structure.

To help you understand the effects of a nuclear bomb, you first need to know what they are. Scientifically speaking, these weapons combine chemical explosives and other materials that create a massive blast, depending on the type of bomb.

Because many leaders acknowledged the dangers of such ammunition, there has been a huge decrease of nuclear weapons that each country holds (over 75% reduction). Even a minor nuclear exchange might kill millions of people, have drastic climate consequences, and wreck the global political and economic institutions.

How the 6 cities would be affected

  • New York City-  The majority of Brooklyn and Queens would resist the nuclear bomb if it were to hit the lower region of Manhattan, but some windows there would still burst. If the target was in the vicinity of SoHo, the area around Washington Square Park and Chinatown would be severely irradiated.
  • Washington DC- A nuclear equivalent to the one used in Hiroshima may kill 120,000 people and injure 169,000 in Washington, DC. If the bomb were to detonate above the National Mall, over 209,000 people would be injured. The Ronald Reagan Airport and the Pentagon are thought to have a chance of surviving the thermal radiation.
  • Chicago- A nuclear strike on beautiful Chicago would kill 151,000 people and wound another 209,000. Many individuals at the University of Chicago and the Willis Tower would be exposed to intense radiation if the bomb was detonated above the South Loop district. Additionally, visitors to the Cloud Gate sculpture may suffer from third-degree burns.
  • Los Angeles- The situation here is a bit better, but still not great. Around 100,000 people would die here and approximately 150,00 would get hurt.
  • Houston- If Houston was a target, there would be around 90,000 deaths and 65,000 injuries. The Space Center Houston and the Johnson Space Center would be shielded if the bomb was detonated near the downtown area. Additionally, the Houston Zoo may be able to avoid the air blasts as well.
  • San Francisco- If a 15-kiloton bomb detonated in this metropolis, relatively 64,000 people would pass away and 172,000 would be wounded. It wouldn’t affect two of the city’s most recognizable waterside landmarks: Fisherman’s Wharf and the Ferry Building.


The 590-foot radius is also known as the fireball (you may also find the term ‘nuclear detonation’ describing it) – almost immediately after the explosion, a huge orange balloon is emitted that spreads hot air and nuclear debris. In other words, a massive wave of heat, intense light, air pressure, and extreme radiation take over the area.

Anything within this area will be destroyed and in flames. The likelihood of you surviving if you are caught in this area or near it is close to zero.


This area is where particles of radioactive dust will spread within less than 15 minutes after the matter. The clouds of dust will directly affect people, causing radiation poisoning and can even be fatal. The chances of survival are still slim.

There are two types of exposure, namely internal and external exposure. As the name suggests, the latter occurs when exposed people experience severe burns, eye damage, and even temporary blindness. On the other hand, internal exposure usually refers to a prolonged process in which people eat contaminated food and breathe polluted air.

In time, this type of exposure could lead to the development of cancer and other serious health conditions.

Air blast occurs within the area of around 1 mile and it’s still powerful enough to take down buildings and anything in the way of the explosion.

Further than these areas of action, thermal radiation occurs and can cause people to suffer from third-degree burns, along with severe injuries.

Although the current limited official information makes it hard for people to educate themselves on how to react in such a situation, here are some straightforward recommendations: seek shelter, remain there, and stay informed on updates from official sources.