HUFFINGTON POST
05/27/2016 01:06 pm ET Updated May 27, 2016

These GIFs Show How Hiroshima Has Emerged From Devastation Over 71 Years

A U.S. atomic bomb destroyed over two-thirds of the city's buildings and killed tens of thousands.
President Barack Obama became the first sitting American president to visit Hiroshima, which was hit with a U.S. atomic bomb
Hajime Miyatake/The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images
President Barack Obama became the first sitting American president to visit Hiroshima, which was hit with a U.S. atomic bomb in 1945. This building, once known as Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, has now been transformed into the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.

U.S. President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima on Friday, becoming the first sitting American president in history to visit ​the southwestern Japanese city.

The United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, causing a massive blast wave and a firestorm that destroyed over two-thirds of the city's buildings. Tens of thousands of people were killed instantly, and many more were injured.

A lot has changed in Hiroshima since then. Barren trees have turned into green parks. The city's train station, whose exterior walls and windows were blown out, has now been transformed into a bustling hub.

On Friday, Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe mourned the city's victims together in a show of unity and reconciliation between the two countries.

“We have known the agony of war,” Obama wrote in the guest book at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. “Let us now find the courage, together, to spread peace, and pursue a world without nuclear weapons.”

Take a look at the GIFs below, which show photos of various parts of the city taken in August 1945 and May 2016, to see how much the city has changed in just over 70 years.

  • A patch of land with barren trees near the Hiroshima Castle has now turned into a green space.
    Hajime Miyatake/The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images
    A patch of land with barren trees near the Hiroshima Castle has now turned into a green space.
  • A photo of a tramcar taken right after the bombing, contrasted with its modern counterpart.
    Hajime Miyatake/The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images
    A photo of a tramcar taken right after the bombing, contrasted with its modern counterpart.
  • A building, which once housed the Teikoku Bank, is now home to Bakery Andersen.
    Hajime Miyatake/The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images
    A building, which once housed the Teikoku Bank, is now home to Bakery Andersen.
  • People walk along the tracks of two very different versions of Inaribashi Bridge.
    Hajime Miyatake/The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images
    People walk along the tracks of two very different versions of Inaribashi Bridge.
  • Hiroshima's train station, whose exterior walls and windows were blown out, has now been transformed into a bustling hub.
    Hajime Miyatake/The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images
    Hiroshima's train station, whose exterior walls and windows were blown out, has now been transformed into a bustling hub.

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