On 23 September 1998, a modified ε strain of t-Virus contaminated Victory Lake, an important reservoir in Raccoon City. The US Army and Army National Guard formed a blockade outside the city limits to prevent the spread outside Arklay County. When a conventional military solution to the outbreak proved ineffective, plans were put in motion to totally destroy the city. On the early hours of 1 October, after some deliberation, the federal government conceded to a Congressional committee's demands, and the President ordered that an experimental thermobaric missile be launched at the city.[excerpt 1] The city was destroyed at daybreak, killing infected and uninfected civilians and soldiers who failed to escape.
The federal government continued to cover-up the existence of the t-Virus and B.O.W.s reported in the incident to avoid being implicated in Umbrella's bio-weapons development project. As a result, the death toll from the bombing was estimated based on the city's actual population - 100,000. The unexplained act of aggression towards US citizens led to the President resigning in disgrace. A similar bombing took place in 2013 with the destruction in Tall Oaks to end a C-Virus outbreak, but was more readily justified as the existence of mutagenic viruses had become common knowledge.
The English localizations refer to both operations as "Operation: Bacillus Terminate". However, that name does not appear in the original scripts, so is to be treated as non-canon.
Though the games themselves make no mention as to the weapon's nature, Yasuhisa Kawamura clarified in Conquest of Nemesis that it is not a nuclear weapon and thus leaves no radioactive trace,[excerpt 1] although Resident Evil Archivesstates the missile was nuclear.