Kobe earthquake 1995 - case study

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  • Created on: 02-04-13 11:58
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Kobe Earthquake ­ January 17th 1995
General information:
· 7.3 on the Richter scale
· The whole earthquake lasted 20 seconds
· Destructive plate boundary - Eurasian (Continental) and Philippine
(Oceanic)
· Most buildings weren't earthquake proof because Kobe wasn't
considered a high risk area
· Biggest to hit Japan for 47 years
· Struck at 5:46am so people were asleep
Effects:
· Gas pipes fractured
· Electricity cut off
· Fire hydrant system broken so massive fires spread across the affected areas
· 6500 dead - social
· 30,000 injured - social
· 300,000 homeless - social
· 82% schools damaged - social
· 130km of railway destroyed ­ social
· Hundreds of people trapped under rubble ­ social
· 75 billion damage - economic
· 2.5 billion to rebuild the port - economic
· 12% industry destroyed - economic
· 90% of port destroyed - economic
· Snapped roads and bridges - economic
· Liquefaction of sand at the port making damage worse due to sinking land
(because the land round the port was reclaimed) - environmental
· Fire, triggered by broken gas pipes caused a huge amount of damage,
destroying at least 7,500 wooden homes ­ environmental
Responses prior to the earthquake in 1995:
· A protective mesh to strengthen the foundations of buildings to reduce lateral movement
· Newer buildings were still standing due to better foundations
Responses after the earthquake in 1995:
· Community helping others
· Strict building guidelines introduced
· Fire services- new equipment for major emergencies
· Trained local community on how to prepare for future earthquakes
· The prime minister, Tomiichi Muruyama sent troops to help the rescue operation
· After three weeks most phones lines were working
· 134,000 housing units had been built
· 80% of the port was working by January 1999
· After fourteen months all collapsed bridges were repaired
· Railways were back in service within 7 months
· Water, electricity, gas services were fully working within six months

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