Kobe Earthquake Case Study

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  • Created by: Louisa
  • Created on: 13-03-11 19:13
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Tectonic hazard event in an MEDC
Kobe, Japan, Asia
Stuck at 5.46am local time on the 17th January 1995
Had a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale
Lasted for 20 seconds
Known as The Great Hanshin earthquake
Hit the region of Kobe in South-Central Japan, the most industrialised
area after Tokyo and has a population of 10 million
The Port of Kobe was worst hit but Osaka and Kyoto were severely
damaged too
The epicentre 20 miles from Kobe
Focus depth was about 16kms which is very shallow, this meant it was
more likely to cause extensive damage
There were over 1,600 aftershocks
Japan is position on the Eurasian plate and
the Philippine Sea plate boundary which is
a destructive plate boundary.
The sudden movement of the Median
Tectonic Line caused the earthquake.
It left about 100,000 buildings destroyed
or damaged
The major freeway collapsed which meant
Emergency Aid struggled to access the city.
The famous high speed rail system that connects Tokyo to the west was
cut in half when the bridges in Kobe collapsed.
The raised motorway fell down
Water pipes were fractured leaving 75% of the city without water
Many electric poles collapsed cutting off electricity supplies to all
buildings including hospitals and the fire service
6,425 people died
25,000 people were injured
300,000 were made homeless and emergency shelter in schools and
town halls had to be provided because it was -2oc outside
Louisa Saunders

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Fires raged for about two days due to ruptured gas pipes and many
buildings being wooden
Industry was affected as two motor companies could not make parts in
other factories, grinding the businesses to a halt
The Japanese government was criticised for its response to the
earthquake, it was said to be slow, uncoordinated and badly equipped
They also refused help from foreign nations including the UK, USA, South
Korea and Mongolia
1.…read more


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