Why did so many people die in the Kobe Earthquake?

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Why did so many people die in the Kobe Earthquake?

Kobe is a major city in central Japan, its population is 1,528,948. It is situated on a minor fault, the Najima fault line. It lies above a destructive plate margin, hence why Japan has so many volcanoes.   

At 5.46pm, 17th January 1995 an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale and lasting for 30 seconds, struck Kobe. This colossus earthquake was caused by “The Philippines plate” and the “Pacific plate”, (Oceanic Crust) getting forced downwards when pressure was applied to it by the Eurasian plate (continental crust). The seismic waves caused by the plates rippled through the earth’s surface. As well as causing earthquakes these events can cause Volcanoes. The magma rises out of the earth and out of the cracks which have been formed.

Although this earthquake may seem big, it is still relatively small compared to the ones that the American people have to endure in San Francisco and California. These one’s reach 8-9 on the Richter scale! They are located on the “Ring of fire”, which also lies above a destructive plate margin.   


As you may or may not know, Japan is basically an island made up of volcanoes sticking out of the ground. This means there is very little flat land other than at the base of the volcanoes. Due to this, it is very crowded and congested. Believe it or not the population

Of Japan is 124 million! That’s approximately twice as much as England! There are also approximately 310 people per square kilometer.

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Also, there are some human causes of the Kobe Earthquake. We all know that, this present day, Japan is the most technologically advanced country in the world. But that means they must have run millions of tests and tried out new experiments and procedures to get to where they are today. I have researched about this and found out that these tests and experiments occurred about a few years prior to the Kobe Earthquake. Some of these feats were:  Injecting fluid into deep wells for waste disposal, filling reservoirs with water, and firing underground nuclear tests.  These activities increased the ...

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This answer contains useful information about the Kobe earthquake, including its causes, impacts and the responses to it. It could be improved by being more focused on the question - why did so many people die? The author hints at the reasons without actually spelling them out.