detailed case study on kobe earthquake 1995 with pictures and diagrams

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Plate Tectonics and Associated Hazards
Kobe Earthquake, 1995
Where: northern end of Awaji Island, 20 km away from the city of Kobe.
When: 5:46 a.m. on Tuesday, January 17, 1995
Magnitude: 7.2
Length: 20 seconds
Focus location: less than 20 km below Awajishima, an island in the Japan
Inland Sea.
Population: 1.5 million
Use: one of Japan's largest and busiest ports, an important centre for commerce, tourism,
shipbuilding, and for manufacturing steel, rubber, and textiles
Plate Boundary: Three crustal plates meet
near to the coast of Japan. (Philippines,
Eurasian and Pacific. The denser oceanic
Philippines Plate is being subducted beneath
the lighter continental Eurasian Plate at a rate
of about 10 centimetres per year. The
Japanese island arc has been formed from
the molten magma released by the melting
Philippines Plate. Earthquakes are very
common here and happen because of the
friction resulting from the two plates colliding
along this destructive margin.
Ground Movement: Horizontal displacement of 1.5m on the Nojima fault
Foreshocks: 4 with the largest at 3.7 at 18:28 the previous day
After shocks: Within five weeks, about 50 aftershocks (Mj 4.0 or greater) were observed.
By May 23, 1995: 1983 aftershocks in total, 249 felt.
By Oct. 31, 1995: 2309 aftershocks in total, 302 felt.
By Oct. 31, 1996: 2522 aftershocks in total, 408 felt
Death Rate: Around 6,000
Injured: 26,000

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Left Homeless: 300,000
Cost: $102.5 billion
Primary Effects:
Building collapse
o Most of the deaths and injuries occurred when older woodframe houses with heavy
clay tile roofs collapsed. ­ designed to be very strong in vertical position but are
susceptible to horizontal ground movement
o Many of the structures in Kobe built since 1981 had been designed to strict seismic
codes. Most of these buildings withstood the earthquake.…read more

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At the port, cranes tilted or fell and 120 (out of 150) quays where ships were
moored were destroyed. Port buildings and their contents were badly damaged in
many places.
o Between 3% and 5% of Japan's industry is located in and around Kobe. from light
manufacturing to hightechnology and heavy industry.
o Due to the shortage of suitable flat land, as elsewhere in Japan, much of the industry
is concentrated near the port on reclaimed land.…read more

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Japan is one of the best places for earthquake response, as its rescue services are specially
trained to work effectively in the event of the disaster. They also have a earthquake
preparation day on 12th January, the anniversary of the Kobe earthquake.…read more


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