Most of the largest earthquakes in Japan are caused by subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate or Pacific Plate, with mechanisms that involve either energy released within the subducting plate or the accumulation and sudden release of stress in the overlying plate. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/event/Kobe-earthquake-of-1995, Tokyo-Yokohama (Great Kantō) earthquake of 1923. Why was the death toll of the Kobe quake so high? The movement was caused by the friction from the Eurasian and Philippine plates converging. If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please contact your teacher. Port and waterfront facilities in Kobe, Japan, suffered extensive damage due to liquefaction during the 1995 Kobe earthquake. Kobe, Japan, 1995 (MEDC) On 17th January 1995, an earthquake struck Kobe, a heavily populated urban area in Japan. Although most of the buildings that had been constructed according to new building codes withstood the earthquake, many others, particularly older wood-frame houses, did not. She or he will best know the preferred format. When you reach out to him or her, you will need the page title, URL, and the date you accessed the resource. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Teach your students about plate tectonics using these classroom resources. The earthquake in Kobe on January, 17, 1995 left 6,425 dead, injured 25,000, displaced 300,000 people, damaged or destroyed 100,000 buildings and caused at least $132 billion worth of damage, or about 2.5 percent of Japan’s national income, making it one of the most expensive natural disasters in history. The government was heavily criticized for its slow and ineffectual response, as well as its initial refusal to accept help from foreign countries. 1 a) When did the Kobe earthquake occur? You cannot download interactives. c) What were the effects caused by the earthquake? A crane and several construction vehicles lay toppled on a fractured road in Kobe, Japan, after a 7.2-magnitude temblor shook the quake-prone country. For example, if you live in northern California you are more likely to be impacted by a wildfire, landslide, or earthquake than if you live in Charleston, South Carolina, but less likely to be hit by a hurricane. The Earth’s surface may seem motionless most of the time, but it’s actually always moving, ever so slowly, at a scale that is difficult for humans to perceive. large settlement with a high population density. The problem was pervasive because the majority of the waterfront facilities were reclaimed lands consisting of loose to medium-dense cohesionless fills. Ban went to the city in February, and by the end of the summer his relief work had brought 22 paper-tube cabins to shelter some of those who had lost their homes and a “paper…. The quake cost more than $100 billion in damage, and the Kobe government spent years construct ing new facilities to attract back the 50,000 people who left after the quake. All rights reserved. This quake, 7.2 on the Richter Scale, was the worst in half and century. The Hanshin earthquake was the worst earthquake in Japan since the 1923 Tokyo earthquake, which is also called the Great Kanto earthquake. KOBE EARTHQUAKE OF 1995. An emergency transportation network was also devised, and evacuation centres and shelters were set up in Kōbe by the Hyōgo prefectural government. If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media. This comparison, along with other structural and geotechnical information that is available, would seem to suggest that the greater damage and the larger numbers of deaths, casualties, and homeless sustained during the Kobe Earthquake were likely caused by the aggregated effects of an extremely dense population, an older building stock, and the predominance of poor soils in the strongly shaken area. The quake caused Awaji island to be lifted in the north by 1.5metres. This is the deadliest tsunami since the 2004 magnitude 9.1 Sumatra earthquake and tsunami caused nearly 230,000 deaths and $10 billion in damage. The Great Hanshin earthquake, or the Kobe earthquake as it is more commonly known overseas, was an earthquake in Japan that measured 7.2 on the Japanese Scale. Earthquakes of these types are especially frequent in the coastal regions of northeastern Japan. The transportation network was completely paralyzed, and the inadequacy of national disaster preparedness was also exposed. It also permanently changed the shapes of the fields. Mechanism of the earthquake Most of the largest earthquakes in Japan are caused by subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate or Pacific Plate, with mechanisms that involve either energy released within the subducting plate or the accumulation and sudden release of stress in the overlying plate. any area on Earth with one or more common characteristics. Why: To help you achieve your target level for your first Geography assessment! If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the corner of the media viewer. The Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake was not only powerful ( magnitude 6.9 ), but with the epicentre only 20km southwest of the city, it resulted in massive damage to property and loss of life. Regions are the basic units of geography. The Kobe Earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale, that struck at 5:46 in the morning of January 17, 1995, caused considerable and various types of damage in the Hanshin area around the cities of Kobe and Osaka in Japan. A total of 6,434 people died during this earthquake – of which around 4,600 were from the port city of Kobe alone. Kōbe was the hardest hit city with 4,571 fatalities, more than 14,000 injured, and more than 120,000 damaged structures, more than half of which were fully collapsed. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Building knocked off its foundation by the January 1995 earthquake in Kōbe, Japan. These environmental hazards shape human activity regionally. The quake cost more than $100 billion in damage, and the Kobe. Its estimated death toll of 6,400 made it the worst earthquake to hit Japan since the Tokyo-Yokohama (Great Kantō) earthquake of 1923, which had killed more than 140,000. The earthquake had a shallow focus, only 16 km below the surface, which had caused it to become so destructive. ...The Kobe earthquake (also known as the Great Hanshin earthquake, Hanshin meaning Osaka-Kobe) was a tragic disaster on several levels.The earthquake lasted just twenty seconds but caused so much damage, trauma and of course, loss. The Great Hanshin Earthquake. The majority of Earth’s volcanoes and earthquakes take place along the Ring of Fire. 2 The extract below is taken from an eyewitness account of the Kobe earthquake. The Kōbe quake’s devastation included 40,000 injured, more than 300,000 homeless residents, and in excess of 240,000 damaged homes, with millions of homes in the region losing electric or water service. Earth’s tectonic plates fit together in a jigsaw puzzle of plate boundaries. the sudden shaking of Earth's crust caused by the release of energy along fault lines or from volcanic activity. Sustainability Policy |  © 1996 - 2020 National Geographic Society. …1995, following the January 17 Kōbe earthquake that devastated the Kōbe area in west-central Japan. Authorities who had proclaimed the superior earthquake-resistance capabilities of Japanese construction were quickly proved wrong by the collapse of numerous supposedly earthquake-resistant buildings, rail lines, elevated highways, and port facilities in the Kōbe area. For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. Privacy Notice |  The movements of these plates can build mountains or cause volcanoes to erupt. It is written by Toshi Matsui, a Japanese university student. Continental plate involved in the earthquake. Updates? The Great Hanshin Earthquake Disaster of 1995 was one of the worst in Japan’s history, killing 6,433 people and causing more than $100 billion in damages. Magnitude of the Kobe Earthquake. On the other hand, the Kobe region was thought to be fairly safe in terms of seismic activity. Everything We Know About What Caused Kobe Bryant’s Helicopter to Crash News On 6 From dreams to tragedy. The earthquake caused 5100 deaths, mainly in Kobe. Also called lithospheric plate. The Great Hanshin Earthquake measured 7.2 on the Richter scale and lasted over 20 seconds. According to official statistics, 5,472 people were killed, and over 400,000 were injured. Kobe Earthquake Causes Of course, the Kobe Earthquake cause is natural and out of human hands. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). One of the most devastating earthquakes takes place in Japan! When those plates scrape against each other and cause an earthquake, the results can be deadly and devastating. Like all earthquakes, the Kobe earthquake was caused by a sudden movement of the tectonic plates that make up the crust of the earth. The Kobe Earthquake of January 17, 1995 might not be a characteristic event on the Rokko fault system but an episodic event on subsidiary faults. When this happened, the underlying wood materials were exposed, creating a large combustible fuel load. These tectonic plates rest upon the convecting mantle, which causes them to move. The earthquake's destructiveness was due to its relatively shallow depth rather than magnitude, seismologists said yesterday. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The earthquake resulted in more than 6,000 deaths and over 30,000 injuries. The Ring of Fire, also referred to as the Circum-Pacific Belt, is a path along the Pacific Ocean characterized by active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes. Earthquake Kobe Japan 1995 . Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. Japan has not experienced such a damaging earthquake since 1923, when an estimated magnitude-8.3 earthquake killed about 143,000 people in the Tokyo area. The worst effected area was in the central part of Kobe, a region about 5km … Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. fracture in Earth's crust where tectonic movement is left (sinistral) or right (dextral), but rarely vertical. Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service. Otherwise, the deeper part and the shallower part of the Rokko fault sytems might generate different series of characteristic earthquakes. Learn more about environmental hazards with this curated resource collection. Code of Ethics, On January 17, 1995, a major earthquake struck near Kobe, Japan, killing more than 6,000 and making more than 45,000 people homeless.4. On the other hand the Kobe Earthquake effects were magnified by man-made issues. The earthquake hit at 5:46 am on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 1995, in the southern part of Hyōgo prefecture, west-central Honshu. January 17th 1995. It lasted about 20 seconds and registered as a magnitude 6.9 (7.3 on the Richter scale). By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The tremors were the result of a violent uplift of the sea floor 80 miles off the coast of Sendai, where the Pacific tectonic plate slides beneath the plate Japan sits on. The Kobe earthquake, also referred to as the Great Hanshin earthquake, was a 7.3-magnitude earthquake that rocked the Hyōgo Prefecture of Japan on the dawn of January 17, 1995. The earthquake hit at 5:46 am on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 1995, in the southern part of Hyōgo Earthquakes in Kobe Japan are a result of Japan’s geographic position near fault lines and moving tectonic plates in the Pacific ocean. Portions of the Hanshin Expressway linking Kōbe and Ōsaka also collapsed or were heavily damaged during the earthquake. massive slab of solid rock made up of Earth's lithosphere (crust and upper mantle). What: To investigate the Kobe earthquake, finding out what happened, where, what damage was caused and why the damage was so severe. The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. 1145 17th Street NW It occurred on January 17, 1995 at 5:46 am 52 seconds in the southern part of Hyogo Prefecture and lasted for approximately 20 seconds. If you have questions about licensing content on this page, please contact ngimagecollection@natgeo.com for more information and to obtain a license. Burning and collapsed buildings in Kōbe, Japan, after the January 1995 earthquake. The Earth’s crust is broken up into a series of massive sections called plates. In the aftermath of the Kōbe disaster, roads, bridges, and buildings were reinforced against another earthquake, and the national government revised its disaster response policies (its response to the 2004 quake in Niigata prefecture was much faster and more effective). system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit. having to do with the physical formations of the Earth. Something Kobe was unprepared! Kobe was largely affected, as the epicentre was only 30 km from the city centre. The number of deaths. The earthquake was notable for exposing the vulnerability of the infrastructure. Oceanic plates subducted to cause the earthquake. The Great Kanto earthquake claimed 140,000 lives. b) What was the cause of the earthquake? Terms of Service |  The surface of the Earth is made up of tectonic plates that lie beneath both the land and oceans of our planet. Measured at a magnitude of 7.6 (slightly less than that of the 1906 San Francisco quake), the earthquake caused major destruction in northern Pakistan, northern India, and Afghanistan, an area that lies on an active fault caused by the northward tectonic drift of the Indian subcontinent. The Ring of Fire is a string of volcanoes and sites of seismic activity, or earthquakes, around the edges of the Pacific Ocean. Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. 102,000. buildings destroyed in Kobe. The January 17, 1995 Hyogoken-Nanbu earthquake of magnitude 7.2 in JMA scale (Mw = 6.9), which struck Kobe, Japan and its surrounding area was the most severe earthquake to affect that region this century. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited. Taking into consideration the entire Kobe and Aum Tokyo scenarios together with the earlier, possibly Aum-related, fireball-explosion-earthquake events of 28 May 1993 at Banjawarn, Western Australia, one is left with a very strong impression of a serious "EM fire" underlying the visible "dark plume of smoke" that rose over Kobe. Corrections? Kōbe earthquake of 1995, (Jan. 17, 1995) large-scale earthquake in the Ōsaka-Kōbe (Hanshin) metropolitan area of western Japan that was among the strongest, deadliest, and costliest to ever strike that country. Success Criteria: By the end of today’s lesson you should be able to: Identify 1 cause, 1 effect and 1 response of the earthquake Describe why the quake happened and … Physical Causes The earthquake of Kobe at 546am on the 17th January 1995 was caused by the simple matter of the Philippine Plate being forced under the thicker and lighter continental plate the Eurasian. Its epicentre was the northern part of Awaji Island in the Inland Sea, 12.5 miles (20 km) off the coast of the port city of Kōbe; the quake’s focus was about 10 miles (16 km) below the earth’s surface. Date of the Earthquake. Kobe, Japan is near 3 tectonic plates (great big slabs of the earths crust that move around due to the convection currents massive circuits of lava under the surface of the earth.) Kōbe earthquake of 1995, also called Great Hanshin earthquake, Japanese in full Hanshin-Awaji Daishinsai (“Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Disaster”), (Jan. 17, 1995) large-scale earthquake in the Ōsaka-Kōbe (Hanshin) metropolitan area of western Japan that was among the strongest, deadliest, and costliest to ever strike that country. The earthquake was caused by a sudden jolt as the Philippine National Geographic Headquarters Kobe earthquake On January 17th, 1995, Japan was woken at 5:46am by its largest ever recorded earthquake. Omissions? The environmental hazards you face depend on where you live. The magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Kobe, Japan has resulted in extensive damage and a shocking number of fatalities and injuries. The 1995 Kobe earthquake was the worst to hit Japan since the 1923 Kanto earthquake, which had an estimated Richter magnitude of 7.9 and resulted in nearly 143,000 deaths, primarily due to fire. The Kobe quake was a result of an east-west strike-slip fault where the Eurasian and Philippine plates interact. This is because the physical conditions in each place are different. Such was its intensity that even the sensors on the other side of the world picked it. The clash of these plates can also cause violent earthquakes, where Earth’s surface shakes. The active San Andreas fault runs through California and causes regular earthquakes, while the warm waters transported by the Gulf Stream can intensify a storm heading for South Carolina. Washington, DC 20036, National Geographic Society is a 501 (c)(3) organization. Like all earthquakes, this one was caused by movements in the earth’s crust. The Hanshin region (the name is derived from the characters used to write Ōsaka and Kōbe) is Japan’s second largest urban area, with more than 11 million inhabitants; with the earthquake’s epicentre located as close as it was to such a densely populated area, the effects were overwhelming. We humans live on a very thin layer of mostly rock which all floats on a sea of liquid called magma. The movements of these plates can account for noticeable geologic events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and more subtle yet sublime events, like the building of mountains. Earthquakes are more common in some parts of the world than others, because some places, like California, sit on top of the meeting point, or fault, of two plates. Learn more about earthquakes with this curated collection of classroom resources. More importantly, the fact that Kobe earthquake has been listed as ‘the costliest natural disaster to befall any single country’ speaks volumes about the damage this earthquake caused to the Japanese economy. d) What other primary effects resulted from the earthquake? Join our community of educators and receive the latest information on National Geographic's resources for you and your students. Building codes in California require builders to meet standards set to minimize structural damage in an earthquake and coastal cities have building code to reinforce roofs and walls to resist a storm’s high winds. Eurasian. Photograph by Karen Kasmauski, National Geographic. Pacific and Philippines. 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