Kobe Earthquake causes and impacts Essay

Submitted By ttywong4520
Words: 433
Pages: 2

Kobe Earthquake Case Study 17 Jan 1995

Earthquake facts
7.2 Richter Scale
Ground shock 20 secs
Shallow focus – 16 km
Intensity of damage XI on Mercalli Scale

Causes
Continental-oceanic convergence, Philippine oceanic crust subduct beneath Eurasian continental crust
Epicentre : Awaji Island
Seismic shockwaves travelled along Nojima Fault to cities of Kobe and Osaka
Subduction rate : 10cm/yr

Vulnerability
2nd most populated and industrialised area after Tokyo
Total population 10 million people
Severe winter -2 Celsius

Capacity to cope
Highly developed  technology on earthquake proof
Schools and factories have regular earthquake drills immediately after an earthquake strikes in Japan, all television and radio stations switch immediately to official earthquake coverage which informs the public of risks
For those trapped, all offices and many private houses in Japan have an earthquake emergency kits, including dry rations, drinking water, basic medical supplies
Offices and school also keep hard-hats and gloves for use in the event of a quake

Effects
Primary
Secondary
Physical
ground moved 50cm horizontally and 1.3 m vertically nearly 200,000 buildings collapsed
Kobe moved 1.7m further away from Awaji Island
Physical
liquefaction  buildings collapse and sink, newer buildings stand but at an angle
234 fires in 2 hours  500 deaths and 7000 buildings destroyed (research by Kobe Uni) (at max point the wall of flame extended for 400+m), took 2 days to put out

Economic
120/150 of quays in the port of Kobe destroyed
Elevated Hanshin Expressway collapsed (shockwaves passed under supports holding up the motorway, large sections collape, one >1/2 km long)
Many bullet trains derailed and many stations damaged

Economic
Loss of about $200 billion
Cost to restore basic infrastructure of city ~$150 billion
Around 4% Japan’s industry located in/around Kobe (light manufacturing, heavy industry etc.), must industry concentrated on reclaimed land …