Kobe Earthquake Essay

418 Words2 Pages
The Earthquake On Tuesday January 17th, 1995 an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale struck the city of Kobe at 5.46 a.m. It was the most devastating earthquake to hit Japan since the one that flattened Tokyo in 1923. Major Causes of the Catastrophe One of the main reasons of the severe Kobe earthquake was that it was on a fault. This fault is called the Nojima Fault. It's on a destructive margin (a margin where land/crust is destroyed by it being pushed down under another plate, where the plates are moving together). Over time, the volcanic activity at this margin has made Japan, in the same way that Hawaii was formed. Unfortunately, because the earth still shifts a lot, Japan is constantly threatened by severe earthquakes. Earthquakes in the past have killed hundreds of thousands of people. Japan is in the same situation as California, which is right along the San Andreas fault. They need to have earthquake-sound buildings and regular earthquake drills, along with extra security measures and safety checks. Effects of the Kobe Earthquake Primary Effects The primary effects included nearly 200,000 buildings collapsing, along with the elevated Hanshin Expressway (see photograph in the cover page) and many bridges. Several bullet trains were de-railed, and 120 of the 150 quays in the port of Kobe were destroyed. Secondary Effects The secondary effects were much more numerous that the primary effects. These included many systems shutting down, i.e. electricity, gas, plumbing, etc. Fires that were started by broken gas pipes and broken electrical wires, spread through the city, rapidly destroying the many wooden houses (approx. 7500 houses were destroyed). The fire was so great that there was a point when the wall of flame extended for 400+ meters! Other secondary effects included many blocked roads, delaying and stopping ambulances,

More about Kobe Earthquake Essay

Open Document