• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

On Tuesday, January 17, at 5:46 a.m. local time, an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 (Richter scale) struck the region of Kobe and Osaka in south-central Japan.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

On Tuesday, January 17, at 5:46 a.m. local time, an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 (Richter scale) struck the region of Kobe and Osaka in south-central Japan. This region is Japan's second-most populated and industrialized area, after Tokyo, with a total population of about 10 million. The shock occurred at a shallow depth on a fault running from Awaji Island through the city of Kobe, which in itself has a population of about 1.5 million. This was an unsuspecting city, scientist had doubted a big earthquake there since it was quite a distance from the point were the three-plate boundaries meet. Strong ground shaking lasted for about 20 seconds and caused severe damage over a large very area. Nearly 5,500 deaths were confirmed, with the number of injured people reaching about 35,000. Nearly 180,000 buildings were badly damaged or destroyed, and officials estimate that more than 300,000 people were homeless on the night of the earthquake. The life loss caused by the earthquake was the worst in Japan since the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, when about 140,000 people were killed, mostly by the post-earthquake conflagration. The economic loss from the 1995 earthquake may be the largest ever caused by a natural disaster in modern times. The direct damage caused by the shaking is estimated at over �13 trillion (about U.S.$147 billion). This does not include indirect economic effects from loss of life, business interruption, and loss of production. ...read more.

Middle

Typically, the sidewalks of such buildings would settle 50 centimetres or more, but there would be no apparent damage to the buildings themselves. The same was generally true for newer highway structures supported on piles. However, the strong shaking may have exceeded the capacity of many pile foundations supporting elevated expressway and bridge piers, causing tilting which was observed to be as much as 2 meters. This often contributed to damage or collapse of the structures. This is an example of one building falling where a newer building says upright with little damage. Transportation One of the most disturbing aspects of the earthquake was the severe, extensive damage to the transportation system. Kobe wasn't have the facility to let the much need help enter Kobe because of the earthquake's damage to highways, bridges, and rail systems resulting in major congestion and greatly impeded relief efforts. Many of these surface streets were also unusable, blocked by debris from collapsed structures and damaged by ground settlement. Forced use of alternative road or rail lines added hours to normally short trips. Damage to the transportation system had the potential to contribute greatly to the number of fatalities. Had the earthquake occurred during rush hour, there would have been many hundreds of fatalities on collapsed freeways, and numerous crowded trains would have derailed, in some cases plunging onto city streets. ...read more.

Conclusion

Gas The gas system had at least 1,400 breaks in its underground distribution system, primarily at service lines, with general curtailment of service by Osaka Gas Company to 834,000 households. Japanese buildings and homes have automatic gas shutoff systems, but many failed to work because of building collapses, other building damage, and broken pipes. The population in the heavily impacted areas was also notified to expect no gas service for about two months. Also, with the broken gas pipes spewing out gas, all it needed was a spark to set the either city alight, which is what happened, the fire spread quickly causing lots more damage after the earthquake had finished, this was made worse with the rubble impeding the fire-fighters from putting out the fire. Tectonic Activity Kobe is located farther than many other cities in Japan from the dangerous three tectonic plates (the Pacific, Eurasian, and Philippine). This triple junction is a junction of three compressive subduction zones. Causing many earthquakes in Japan. This was also the cause of the Kobe earthquake. Time of day The time of day would have an effect on the impact as well, it shook the ground at 5:40 in the morning, that means people would just be getting up so everyone would be indoors. If everyone was indoors the collapsing buildings would be full of people, adding to the death toll. People cooking breakfast would set alight the gas that was leaking out about the city after the earthquake. This is probably what caused the fire in many places ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hazardous Environments section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hazardous Environments essays

  1. The Kobe Earthquake.

    Mr Endo and Kazuo Endo lived to tell the tale because the new apartment block was made from concrete and had no weak structure points which might have caused it to collapse. COMPARISONS WITH OTHER EARTHQUAKES The Maharashtra Earthquake took place on the 1st of September 1993.

  2. Immediately south of Osaka Bay is a fault called the Median Tectonic Line ( ...

    Electricity supplies were not all routed underground but that didn't save the supply from disruption. Much of the supply was transmitted around the city by cables on poles. As buildings collapsed and the ground shook, many of the poles also collapsed, cutting off the electricity supply not just to homes, but to police stations, hospitals and fire stations too.

  1. The Kobe Earthquake

    The map has been augmented with additional acceleration and velocity recordings reported by the Committee of Earthquake Observation and Research in the Kansai Area. The maximum horizontal accelerations are those reported by several different agencies and represent either the maximum of the two peak horizontal accelerations or the vectoral combination of the two horizontal components.

  2. The focus of this paper will be the Queen Charlotte Islands earthquake of 1949.

    The construction of buildings in the Code differs depending on the structure's geographical location, the type of structure, the soil foundation and the importance of the building in an earthquake. Buildings such as fire stations and hospitals have a higher degree of protection.

  1. "Why did so many people die in the Kobe earthquake?"

    Water was in short supply until April 1995. Also, school pupil's education was disrupted hugely because there weren't even any buildings to teach in! A lot of young people in this country would be pleased if they didn't have to go to school, because we take so much for granted.

  2. Earthquake is a shaking of the ground caused by the sudden breaking and shifting ...

    Some people call tsunamis tidal waves, but scientists think the term is misleading because the waves are not caused by the tide. Tsunamis may build to heights of more than 30 metres when they reach shallow water near shore. In the open ocean, tsunamis typically move at speeds of 800 to 970 kilometres per hour.

  1. To what extent is magnitude the main factor to influence the type and level ...

    Linking back to title? The final factor I will examine is Geographical Characteristics, where the outlay of the land and its surrounding infrastructure has an influential role in determining the impact of a geographical event. Where, the landscape is hilly or muddy and as a result of the earthquake becomes hard to navigate through.

  2. To what extent is the impact of an earthquake related to its strength. (30) ...

    this still can be considered a factor which increases the impact of an earthquake. However, this does show that an increase in strength has played a significant role in the destruction of infrastructure. There are also specific scenarios which are dependent on strength such as tsunamis.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work