Thursday, 8 April 2010

Kobe Earthquake - MEDC Case Study

This is an excellent case study for an earthquake in an MEDC. There are links to videos that show how bad the quake was and some of the photos show the impact of this natural hazard.

When: 17th January 1995 at 5.46am
What: 7.2 earthquake occurred 20km south west of Kobe. Lasted for 20 seconds. The ground moved 18cm horizontally and 12cm vertically. This video shows footage from the actual earthquake:

This earthquake occurred at a DESTRUCTIVE PLATE BOUNDARY Three crustal plates meet near to the coast of Japan. Close to Kobe, the denser oceanic Philippines Plate is being subducted beneath the lighter continental Eurasian Plate at a rate of about 10 centimetres per year. The Japanese island arc has been formed from the molten magma released by the melting Philippines Plate. Earthquakes are very common here and happen because of the friction resulting from the two plates colliding along this destructive margin. [In 1923, the Great Kanto Earthquake killed 140,000 people in this area.] The great destruction which resulted from the 1995 Kobe Earthquake was due to the shallow depth of the focus which was only about 16 kms. below the surface and the fact that the epicentre occurred close to a very heavily populated area. Seismic shockwaves travelled from Awaji Island (the epicentre) along the Nojima Fault to the cities of Kobe and Osaka.

What were the effects of the earthquake?
* 5477 people dead
* 35000 injuries
* 172000 homes collapsed
* 35 schools destroyed
* 3 hospitals destroyed
* 7500 further homes destroyed by the fires that started when the gas pipes fractured.
* Lack of water made fire fighting difficult
* 316000 evacuated from their homes
* shortage of blankets, food and water for the first 24 hours
* transport network devastated - five bridges collapsed, 130km section of Bullet train track destroyed. 1km section of Hanshin Expressway collapsed
* 196 berths at the port of Kobe were destroyed
* 1 million homes without gas, electricity and water.
* 285000 phone lines destroyed

* hundreds of businesses had to close down
* extra jobs created in the construction industries to rebuild the city
* damage was estimated to be 10 billion Yen
* Kobe's population fell by 33,000

Some videos that will help you.......

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