Authorities who had proclaimed the superior earthquake-resistance capabilities of Japanese construction were quickly proved wrong by the collapse of numerous supposedly earthquake-resistant buildings, rail lines, elevated highways, and port facilities in the Kōbe area. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Mechanism of the earthquake Most of the largest earthquakes in Japan are caused by subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate or Pacific Plate, with mechanisms that involve either energy released within the subducting plate or the accumulation and sudden release of stress in the overlying plate. The earthquake had a shallow focus, only 16 km below the surface, which had caused it to become so destructive. Japan has not experienced such a damaging earthquake since 1923, when an estimated magnitude-8.3 earthquake killed about 143,000 people in the Tokyo area. It occurred on January 17, 1995 at 5:46 am 52 seconds in the southern part of Hyogo Prefecture and lasted for approximately 20 seconds. The earthquake caused 5100 deaths, mainly in Kobe. Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. The magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Kobe, Japan has resulted in extensive damage and a shocking number of fatalities and injuries. This comparison, along with other structural and geotechnical information that is available, would seem to suggest that the greater damage and the larger numbers of deaths, casualties, and homeless sustained during the Kobe Earthquake were likely caused by the aggregated effects of an extremely dense population, an older building stock, and the predominance of poor soils in the strongly shaken area. The tremors were the result of a violent uplift of the sea floor 80 miles off the coast of Sendai, where the Pacific tectonic plate slides beneath the plate Japan sits on. d) What other primary effects resulted from the earthquake? c) What were the effects caused by the earthquake? Privacy Notice |  These tectonic plates rest upon the convecting mantle, which causes them to move. large settlement with a high population density. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. When you reach out to him or her, you will need the page title, URL, and the date you accessed the resource. Such was its intensity that even the sensors on the other side of the world picked it. Like all earthquakes, the Kobe earthquake was caused by a sudden movement of the tectonic plates that make up the crust of the earth. If you have questions about licensing content on this page, please contact [email protected] for more information and to obtain a license. the sudden shaking of Earth's crust caused by the release of energy along fault lines or from volcanic activity. The Kobe quake was a result of an east-west strike-slip fault where the Eurasian and Philippine plates interact. 1 a) When did the Kobe earthquake occur? In the aftermath of the Kōbe disaster, roads, bridges, and buildings were reinforced against another earthquake, and the national government revised its disaster response policies (its response to the 2004 quake in Niigata prefecture was much faster and more effective). fracture in Earth's crust where tectonic movement is left (sinistral) or right (dextral), but rarely vertical. any area on Earth with one or more common characteristics. 1145 17th Street NW Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. Kōbe was the hardest hit city with 4,571 fatalities, more than 14,000 injured, and more than 120,000 damaged structures, more than half of which were fully collapsed. Kōbe earthquake of 1995, also called Great Hanshin earthquake, Japanese in full Hanshin-Awaji Daishinsai (“Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Disaster”), (Jan. 17, 1995) large-scale earthquake in the Ōsaka-Kōbe (Hanshin) metropolitan area of western Japan that was among the strongest, deadliest, and costliest to ever strike that country. The movement was caused by the friction from the Eurasian and Philippine plates converging. Measured at a magnitude of 7.6 (slightly less than that of the 1906 San Francisco quake), the earthquake caused major destruction in northern Pakistan, northern India, and Afghanistan, an area that lies on an active fault caused by the northward tectonic drift of the Indian subcontinent. The Ring of Fire, also referred to as the Circum-Pacific Belt, is a path along the Pacific Ocean characterized by active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes. Most of the largest earthquakes in Japan are caused by subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate or Pacific Plate, with mechanisms that involve either energy released within the subducting plate or the accumulation and sudden release of stress in the overlying plate. The earthquake in Kobe on January, 17, 1995 left 6,425 dead, injured 25,000, displaced 300,000 people, damaged or destroyed 100,000 buildings and caused at least $132 billion worth of damage, or about 2.5 percent of Japan’s national income, making it one of the most expensive natural disasters in history. ...The Kobe earthquake (also known as the Great Hanshin earthquake, Hanshin meaning Osaka-Kobe) was a tragic disaster on several levels.The earthquake lasted just twenty seconds but caused so much damage, trauma and of course, loss. The Kobe earthquake, also referred to as the Great Hanshin earthquake, was a 7.3-magnitude earthquake that rocked the Hyōgo Prefecture of Japan on the dawn of January 17, 1995. The quake cost more than $100 billion in damage, and the Kobe government spent years construct ing new facilities to attract back the 50,000 people who left after the quake. Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service. The Great Hanshin Earthquake. Burning and collapsed buildings in Kōbe, Japan, after the January 1995 earthquake. On the other hand the Kobe Earthquake effects were magnified by man-made issues. The movements of these plates can account for noticeable geologic events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and more subtle yet sublime events, like the building of mountains. Earth’s tectonic plates fit together in a jigsaw puzzle of plate boundaries. The clash of these plates can also cause violent earthquakes, where Earth’s surface shakes. The Kōbe quake’s devastation included 40,000 injured, more than 300,000 homeless residents, and in excess of 240,000 damaged homes, with millions of homes in the region losing electric or water service. massive slab of solid rock made up of Earth's lithosphere (crust and upper mantle). The government was heavily criticized for its slow and ineffectual response, as well as its initial refusal to accept help from foreign countries. Earthquake Kobe Japan 1995 . The 1995 Kobe earthquake was the worst to hit Japan since the 1923 Kanto earthquake, which had an estimated Richter magnitude of 7.9 and resulted in nearly 143,000 deaths, primarily due to fire. You cannot download interactives. Kobe earthquake On January 17th, 1995, Japan was woken at 5:46am by its largest ever recorded earthquake. Pacific and Philippines. Its epicentre was the northern part of Awaji Island in the Inland Sea, 12.5 miles (20 km) off the coast of the port city of Kōbe; the quake’s focus was about 10 miles (16 km) below the earth’s surface. When those plates scrape against each other and cause an earthquake, the results can be deadly and devastating. KOBE EARTHQUAKE OF 1995. All rights reserved. 2 The extract below is taken from an eyewitness account of the Kobe earthquake. Omissions? The problem was pervasive because the majority of the waterfront facilities were reclaimed lands consisting of loose to medium-dense cohesionless fills. This is because the physical conditions in each place are different. Sustainability Policy |  Kōbe earthquake of 1995, (Jan. 17, 1995) large-scale earthquake in the Ōsaka-Kōbe (Hanshin) metropolitan area of western Japan that was among the strongest, deadliest, and costliest to ever strike that country. One of the most devastating earthquakes takes place in Japan! The number of deaths. It is written by Toshi Matsui, a Japanese university student. The earthquake hit at 5:46 am on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 1995, in the southern part of Hyōgo Earthquakes of these types are especially frequent in the coastal regions of northeastern Japan. The Ring of Fire is a string of volcanoes and sites of seismic activity, or earthquakes, around the edges of the Pacific Ocean. Like all earthquakes, this one was caused by movements in the earth’s crust. If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the corner of the media viewer. She or he will best know the preferred format. If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media. Something Kobe was unprepared! The majority of Earth’s volcanoes and earthquakes take place along the Ring of Fire. What: To investigate the Kobe earthquake, finding out what happened, where, what damage was caused and why the damage was so severe. Although most of the buildings that had been constructed according to new building codes withstood the earthquake, many others, particularly older wood-frame houses, did not. The Great Kanto earthquake claimed 140,000 lives. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake was not only powerful ( magnitude 6.9 ), but with the epicentre only 20km southwest of the city, it resulted in massive damage to property and loss of life. Learn more about environmental hazards with this curated resource collection. The focus of the earthquake was 16km beneath the epicentre, 20km from the city of Kobe.Japan, ironically, was named the “most earthquake … Otherwise, the deeper part and the shallower part of the Rokko fault sytems might generate different series of characteristic earthquakes. Building codes in California require builders to meet standards set to minimize structural damage in an earthquake and coastal cities have building code to reinforce roofs and walls to resist a storm’s high winds. © 1996 - 2020 National Geographic Society. The Hanshin region (the name is derived from the characters used to write Ōsaka and Kōbe) is Japan’s second largest urban area, with more than 11 million inhabitants; with the earthquake’s epicentre located as close as it was to such a densely populated area, the effects were overwhelming. Corrections? These environmental hazards shape human activity regionally. The environmental hazards you face depend on where you live. The worst effected area was in the central part of Kobe, a region about 5km … The Great Hanshin Earthquake Disaster of 1995 was one of the worst in Japan’s history, killing 6,433 people and causing more than $100 billion in damages. having to do with the physical formations of the Earth. For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. Portions of the Hanshin Expressway linking Kōbe and Ōsaka also collapsed or were heavily damaged during the earthquake. Photograph by Karen Kasmauski, National Geographic. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/event/Kobe-earthquake-of-1995, Tokyo-Yokohama (Great Kantō) earthquake of 1923. Magnitude of the Kobe Earthquake. The transportation network was completely paralyzed, and the inadequacy of national disaster preparedness was also exposed. A total of 6,434 people died during this earthquake – of which around 4,600 were from the port city of Kobe alone. The earthquake was notable for exposing the vulnerability of the infrastructure. Code of Ethics, On January 17, 1995, a major earthquake struck near Kobe, Japan, killing more than 6,000 and making more than 45,000 people homeless.4. It also permanently changed the shapes of the fields. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. The Great Hanshin Earthquake measured 7.2 on the Richter scale and lasted over 20 seconds. Eurasian. Join our community of educators and receive the latest information on National Geographic's resources for you and your students. Kobe was largely affected, as the epicentre was only 30 km from the city centre. Date of the Earthquake. It lasted about 20 seconds and registered as a magnitude 6.9 (7.3 on the Richter scale). The Great Hanshin earthquake, or the Kobe earthquake as it is more commonly known overseas, was an earthquake in Japan that measured 7.2 on the Japanese Scale. For example, if you live in northern California you are more likely to be impacted by a wildfire, landslide, or earthquake than if you live in Charleston, South Carolina, but less likely to be hit by a hurricane. And determine whether to revise the article about What caused Kobe Bryant ’ s Helicopter to Crash on. 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