Kobe Earthquake Essay

790 Words4 Pages
Kobe earthquake 1995 Kobe is located in the south east of Japan, near a destructive plate margin. It is a megacity and has one of the largest container ports in the World. Although further from a plate margin than most of the cities in Japan, Kobe is still found on a fault line. The earthquake that hit Kobe during the January of 1995 measured 6.9 on the Richter scale. At this plate margin, the Pacific plate is being pushed under the Eurasian plate, stresses build up and when they are released the Earth shakes. This is a subduction zone. The focus was only 16km below the crust and this happened on the 17th Jan 1995 at 5.46am. 10 million people live in this area. Effects The effects of this earthquake were catastrophic for an MEDC. Despite some buildings having been made earthquake proof during recent years many of the older buildings simply toppled over or collapsed. A lot of the traditional wooden buildings survived the earthquake but burnt down in fires caused by broken gas and electricity lines. Other effects included: More than 5000 died in the quake 300,000 were made home less More than 102,000 buildings were destroyed in Kobe, especially the older wooden buildings. Estimated cost to rebuild the basics = £100 billion. The worst affected area was in the central part of Kobe including the main docks and port area. This area is built on incompetent rocks, especially the port itself which is built on reclaimed ground. Here the ground underwent liquefaction and acting like a plastic, allowed buildings to topple sideways. Emergency aid for the city needed to use damaged roads but many of them were destroyed during the earthquake. Raised motorways collapsed during the shaking. Other roads were affected, limiting rescue attempts. Many small roads were closed by fallen debris from buildings, or cracks and bumps caused by the ground moving. The
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