You cannot download interactives. The Great Hanshin Earthquake. If you have questions about licensing content on this page, please contact ngimagecollection@natgeo.com for more information and to obtain a license. The Earth’s crust is broken up into a series of massive sections called plates. The movement was caused by the friction from the Eurasian and Philippine plates converging. The movements of these plates can build mountains or cause volcanoes to erupt. Why was the death toll of the Kobe quake so high? KOBE EARTHQUAKE OF 1995. The earthquake was caused by a sudden jolt as the Philippine 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. The earthquake had a shallow focus, only 16 km below the surface, which had caused it to become so destructive. The clash of these plates can also cause violent earthquakes, where Earth’s surface shakes. Oceanic plates subducted to cause the earthquake. any area on Earth with one or more common characteristics. The earthquake's destructiveness was due to its relatively shallow depth rather than magnitude, seismologists said yesterday. Otherwise, the deeper part and the shallower part of the Rokko fault sytems might generate different series of characteristic earthquakes. 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. system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit. 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. According to official statistics, 5,472 people were killed, and over 400,000 were injured. Teach your students about plate tectonics using these classroom resources. The government was heavily criticized for its slow and ineffectual response, as well as its initial refusal to accept help from foreign countries. 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). The problem was pervasive because the majority of the waterfront facilities were reclaimed lands consisting of loose to medium-dense cohesionless fills. When those plates scrape against each other and cause an earthquake, the results can be deadly and devastating. The earthquake hit at 5:46 am on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 1995, in the southern part of Hyōgo prefecture, west-central Honshu. Date of the Earthquake. Sustainability Policy |  National Geographic Headquarters Earthquakes of these types are especially frequent in the coastal regions of northeastern Japan. The majority of Earth’s volcanoes and earthquakes take place along the Ring of Fire. 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. Updates? For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. It is written by Toshi Matsui, a Japanese university student. 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. An emergency transportation network was also devised, and evacuation centres and shelters were set up in Kōbe by the Hyōgo prefectural government. 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. Port and waterfront facilities in Kobe, Japan, suffered extensive damage due to liquefaction during the 1995 Kobe earthquake. 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. 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