Kobe Earthquake Essay

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Geography Kobe earthquake The Effects of the Earthquake: The immediate effects of the earthquake are known as primary effects. They include the collapse of buildings, bridges and roads resulting from the seismic waves shaking the crust. During the 20 second earthquake, the ground moved up to 50 centimetres horizontally and up to 1 metre vertically. Some of the deaths were caused by these primary effects. The secondary effects include the fires that broke out all over the city of Kobe, the congestion and chaos on the roads, the closure of businesses and the problem of homelessness. Many more people died in the fires that followed the earthquake. Problems were made worse by the large number of aftershocks (over 1,300). Many of the older, wooden houses completely collapsed. Fire, triggered by broken gas pipes and sparks from severed electrical cables, caused a huge amount of damage, destroying at least 7,500 wooden homes. Office blocks built in the 1960's of steel and concrete frequently collapsed in the middle so that a whole floor was crushed but the rooms above and below remained intact. Modern buildings, designed to be earthquake proof, did quite well on the whole and suffered little damage, although some were left standing at an angle when the ground beneath them liquefied. An additional problem for rebuilding was that most people were not covered by insurance due to the difficulties of insuring such an earthquake prone area. Almost 300,000 people were made homeless by the earthquake and had to be given emergency shelter. The severe winter weather (-2°C.) made this a serious problem. People were put into schools, town halls, open parks, etc. and were forced to live, in some cases for long periods, in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions. Food, blankets, medical supplies and clean water were, for the first few days, in short supply. The scale of the
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