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Kobe Earthquake (1995)

  • By: Chen Yung-Fang
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

The Kobe earthquake took place at 5:46 A.M. on January 17, 1995. The intensity of the earthquake was measured at 7.2 on the Richter scale and lasted for about 20 seconds. The epicenter of the earthquake was located under the Awajishima Island off the coast of Kobe, Japan. The earthquake hit 10 major cities and 10 substantial towns in Hyogo Prefecture, which resulted in about 6,434 deaths and more than 31 million injured. One of the reasons that the earthquake claimed this many lives was due to the fires caused by the earthquake in old residential areas, where most of the buildings were constructed from wood, before the advent of earthquake engineering. These fires were responsible for most of the deaths and contributed greater damage ...

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