about 100 miles away, and left food supplies for a few weeks. But crops on the Bikinians’ new home produced signif
icantly less food than those on Bikini, and the nearby waters had far less edible catch.
Within two years, the population was on the verge of starvation.
In 1948, the US responded to their plight. Once more the Bikinians were uprooted — this ti
me to Kwajalein, where they lived in tents next to a cement airstrip used by Americans. Six months lat
er, they were shipped to Kili Island, 400 miles south of Bikini, where they again began to starve.
One attempt was made to resettle the Bikinians in the late 1960s when some 150 residents we
re returned to their atoll. But in 1978 it was revealed that within one year some residents had seen a 75% inc
rease in radioactive material in their bodies, and all residents were once again moved, this time to Majuro Atoll.
In the early 1980s, the Bikinians filed a class action lawsuit against the US, which eventually resu
lted in the creation of a $90 million trust fund for their local government for cleanup and resettlement purposes.