Kobe and pakistan earthquake essay

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Lisa Ossmann

Geography HL


The 1995 Kobe Earthquake and

The 2005 Pakistan Earthquake


A huge earthquake took place in Japan at 5:46am, on January 17th 1995. The earthquake had a local magnitude of 7.2, and lasted for about 20 seconds. The epic-center of this earthquake was less than 20km below Awaji-shima, an island near the city of Kobe, a port city. The earthquake occurred between convergent plate boundaries, the Eurasian Plate and Philippines Plate, and as a result of the collision of these two plates the pressure built up and then suddenly got released, and the Earthquake shockwaves traveled to Kobe. The Hanshin earthquake caused about 5,100 deaths, mostly in Kobe. Highways, roads, homes, railroads, ports and other infrastructures were destroyed, also trains on minor lines were derailed. Main water ways bursted and there were fires evolving everywhere. These caused disruption of traffic, affects on economy, water suspension, and disrupted heat and gas areas around Kobe.

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However, what caused such a severe damage of the city of one of the most highest  earthquake-prepared countrys, was that the city of Kobe is close by water, therefore is on soft land. Secondly, the focus was relatively shallow. Engineering was another reason. A huge amount of the houses in Kobe were built before the development of strict seismic codes (1981). They had old wooden frames, heavy clay tiled roofs, and were closely built together. This let the fires travel on to the neighbors rapidly. So unlike the newly built buildings, the old buildings did not resist the earthquake, therefore ...

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A very good summary of the impacts of the Kobe and Pakistan earthquakes, with some attempt to compare them. 4 stars