The 1995 Earthquake in Kobe, Japan Essay by JPWrite

The 1995 Earthquake in Kobe, Japan
Explains why the typical construction used for Japanese homes was insufficient to withstand the force of the 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan.
# 66902 | 998 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2006 | US
Published on Jun 21, 2006 in Architecture (Asian) , Architecture (Buildings) , Geology and Geophysics (General)

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This paper begins with a description of the destruction caused by the 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan and then takes a look at why the region suffered such extensive damage. The paper describes how the traditional Japanese home is constructed as well as how commercial buildings and transportation-related structures are typically constructed and explains why these structures could not withstand the force of the earthquake. The paper also points out the need to adopt newer methods of construction in order to make the homes and buildings safer and more capable of withstanding earthquakes.

From the Paper:

"In 1990, the Japanese Meteorological Agency made a list of 18 regions that experienced seismic activity of less than 3 on the Richter scale. The regions on this list were considered "earthquake-proof". On January 17, 1995, to the surprise of the researchers involved, Kobe, Japan, one of the locations on the safe list, was struck by one of the most severe earthquakes known to mankind at 5:46 a.m. (Japanese Standard Time) (See Figures 1 &2). The magnitude of this earthquake measured 6.9 on the Richter scale and 7.2 on the Japanese Meteorological Agency scale. As a result of this earthquake, 5470 people were killed, 33,000 more were injured and a total of 310,000 local residents were left homeless. Water mains and gas lines were badly damaged. Survivors of the earthquake were left without many of the essentials for everyday life. Eventually, citizens were informed that they could be without water and gas systems for two months or more. Several larger structures including transportation systems, office buildings, and bridges were also damaged during the earthquake (Figure 3). As of April 22, 1995, $110 billion had been spent trying to restore Kobe to livable conditions. "

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The 1995 Earthquake in Kobe, Japan (2006, June 21) Retrieved January 25, 2015, from

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