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Kobe Earthquakes

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Kobe Earthquake Japan which is one of the richest and most technologically advanced countries in the world used to be considered well prepared for a major earthquake. That was before the Kobe disaster. Kobe is located farther than other Japanese cities from the dangerous intersection of three tectonic plates, the pacific, Eurasian, and Philippine. The earthquake which devastated the Japanese city had its epicentre 20 km to the south-west of Kobe in Osaka Bay and its magnitude was 7.2. A 30-50 km long rupture occurred close to and beneath Kobe and even two weeks after the first earthquake people could still feel 150 out of 1320 aftershocks. ...read more.


3-5 percent of Japan's industry is located in and around Kobe. This includes most types of industry - from light manufacturing to high-technology and heavy industry. The earthquake led to settlement and liquefaction in these areas. Industries affected included shipbuilding, steelworks, breweries, pharmaceutical, computer hardware and consumer goods. Many businesses and industries also moved away and never returned. Kobe also handles 12 percent of Japan's exports. The damages to this area, and its people, will leave a major mark not just on the economy, but also on the future of Japanese society as a whole. After the earthquake both citizens and specialists lost faith in the technology. ...read more.


Today, Kobe is still recovering. Housing remains a big problem. After the earthquake 300 000 people were homeless. A large number of the people affected were elderly. Better communication and a better preparedness system are important things the Japanese government should use in the future. People didn't know what to do. Many were seen running outside buildings and were hit by falling bricks. Teaching kids in school would be a start. The official response was slow and that's not acceptable. Three days after the earthquake, the city still had no electricity. Information about the city's geological background should be easy available for everyone. I think these things could help to reduce the loss of lives in the future. ...read more.

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