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(By Dennis Warner, A.Á.P.-Rcuter Correspondent)

rpHREE years ago 200,000 resi

.*- dents of Nagasaki counted themselves among the most for tunate in Japan. With the war almost at its close their, lovely hill and valley city was virtually un harmed by bomb or shell.

Their ill-luck began on the morn ing of August 9, when the world's third atomic bomb, intended pri marily for the smoking chimney -stacks of the vast Yawata steel works, was redirected to Nagasaki because!of weather.

Nor has good fortune yet re turned, its people say; The sec ond atomic bomb made Hiroshima one of the best-known cities in the world: the third made Nagasaki an unwanted ugly duckling, bereft of industry, and by-passed by any hope that might lie in world inter est. .

Hiroshima, already rebuilt, if only m shanty form, is a thriving metropolis to-day compared with Nagasaki. The core of the city's commerce and industry went in the blast that scythed the trees off the tall hills to the west of the town .. swept through the industrial valley, and ended with the destruc tion of the Nagasaki. Medical Uni versity, overlooking the city to the east.

Three years ago, from the charred seventh floor of the ^ university,, where 805 faculty members and students died in a matter of sec onds, I looked across the valley at the Nagasaki desolation. It was a good simile to say the bomb had cut like a scythe, for, like a reap er in the hands of ah unskilled lab

orer^ it had skipped clumps of houses that nestled among depres sions behind small hills in th." greater valley.

Prom the same yantage point to-day Nagasaki does not look greatly different. Some shanties have mushroomed among the ruins ia the northern part of the city, but mostly it is the samé picture of grim devastation.

Among the ^people there is great physical but little spiritual change. You don't see so many of the hor

rib* J scars that people then carried as their bomb souvenir. Only 500 people are still listed as atomic bomb sufferers, and none is in hos pital. Yet people are dejected, gloomy, lacking in spirit. /

Only Nagasaki's flora has really changed. Tomatoes have appeared as monstrous freaks with long, fin like horns. Cabbages grow with two or three heads. The onion crop this year is four times heavier than before the atom bomb, and some onions have grown to 10 times their normal size.

Plans for the future of the city are vague. The Mitsubishi steel works still lie twisted and rusting in the centre of the valley. Part of

the buildings has been repaired, : but acres of plant blend into the

general picture of hopelessness. /

A small unkempt park marks the centre of the explosion, and there

are plans for building a "peace"; ¿ tower"' at. a cost of a mullan yen*> v But generally discussions about the ~ future are all on a ten-year basis "in teri years' time we will have this, that and the other, thing."