Earthquakes - Case Studies - Kobe, Japan

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  • Created by: nicola
  • Created on: 04-04-11 14:13

Occurred on January 17th 1995 at 5.46 a.m. (local time)

Earthquake of magnitude 7.2  struck the Kobe region of south-central Japan 

Caused by plate movement along the boundary between the Philippines Plate, Pacific Plate and Eurasian Plate

The focus of the Kobe Earthquake was very shallow (16kms deep) causing more destruction than anticipated

Epicentre occurred close to a heavily populated area = increased impacts/casualties

 The tremors lasted for approximately 20 seconds

616 aftershocks in the same day

Approximately 6,434 people lost their lives and over 300,000 people became homeless 

Caused approximately $102.5 billion in damages to roads, houses, factories and infrastructure (gas, electric, water, sewerage, phone cables, etc)


  • Primary effects - collapse of buildings (mainly older wooden, steel and concrete buildings), bridges and roads from the seismic waves, also caused some deaths as ground moved up to 50 centimetres


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