The Deaths of People in the Kobe Earthquake
As a class we have been asked to investigate "Why did so many people
die in the Kobe earthquake?" In this project I will be covering:
1.Where, when and why the earthquake happened and which plates were
2.What the primary and secondary effects were.
3.How well prepared the Japanese people were for the earthquake.
4.How well people coped with the disaster.
5.How the Japanese authorities put thing's right afterwards.
To do this I will be using my class work and searching the internet to
help find pictures, diagrams and useful resources.
Where, when and why?
The earthquake happened in Kobe, in Japan, which is towards the south
of the island, underlined in red on the map below. Kobe is situated on
flat land between high mountains and the sea. It is an important route
centre because it has motorway (Hanshin Expressway) and intercity
('bullet train') railway lines passing through it and a large modern
port, which handles millions of tonnes of trade each year.
At 5:46am (while many citizens were still asleep) on the 17th of
January, 1995 the huge earthquake struck measuring 7.2 on the Richter
scale. It was Japans largest earthquake since the one that hit Tokyo
in 1923! Seismic waves (travelling waves of energy) moved towards the
surface and disturbed buildings, roads, bridges, sewage systems and
main supplies of water, electricity and gas.
The earthquake happened because the Eurasian, Philippine Sea and
Pacific tectonic plates (sections of the earth's crust which float on
mantle) were all moving towards each other, which created friction
when they gradually met at the plate boundaries. This made lots of
pressure build up, then suddenly part of the plates gave way causing
huge energy waves to be released and spread from the focus point (the
place where it gave way) up towards the epicentre (the point at ground
level, directly above the focus), which was Awaji. An island just
south of Kobe.
This diagram shows the tectonic plates moving towards Kobe.
The Primary and Secondary effects.
What were the Primary effects?
1. Fire fighting was difficult because of the lack of water and
2. 285,000 telephones weren't working.
3. 12 trains were derailed.
4. 1Km of the elevated Hanshin expressway collapsed
5. A total of 5,477 people died and there were 35,00 injuries. Lots of
these were caused by falling debris in the streets.
6. Nearly 172,000 houses collapsed while many other buildings were
also affected; 35 schools and 3 hospitals.
7. Fires destroyed 7,500 homes.
8. In some places sections of the roads and pavements had been pushed
up over 10cm from their original positions, making it impossible to...