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Japan Rapid

Japan Rapid

Infrastructure Decimated by Earthquake in Kobe, Japan on January 17, 1995

In January 1995, 17, an earthquake struck the Kobe region of Japan. This earthquake was unique in that occurred at the intersection of three tectonic plates. This resulted in enormous damage to the area. Buildings collapsed, roads were destroyed, and utilities went offline for days.

An earthquake can cause damage in two ways. At first the damage is caused by direct effect of change of plate tectonics. In this incident, the change of plates caused landslides that big of three meters along the fault line. Fortunately no real fault was through the heart of the port city of Kobe. In this case the damage was limited direct effect to destroy underground utility lines, fences and drainage ditches. The rapid change in the displacement of land along the fault line sheared the underground lines like butter, cutting all key public services.

Most of the damage in this earthquake was the result of the side effects of the earthquake that extended from the epicenter. The effects side of an earthquake of this magnitude can take many forms including aftershocks, liquefaction, fissuring, and possibly causing additional earthquakes. Wooden houses collapsed by the severe shaking of the earth. Many buildings were severely damaged from the 5th floor and above. This was attributed to building codes at the time that relaxed structural requirements of buildings above the 5th floor.

The social impact of this earthquake was devastating. The Japanese were felt to be well prepared for this event. It was thought that his buildings, mostly of wood, were better able to withstand the shaking and shear forces caused by earthquakes because the material's ability to bend and fold. What counted was not the effect of heavy tile roofs have on their structures. The heavy weight of the roof, placed in the structure lighter wood created a whiplash effect that made these wooden structures to rubble. To make matters worse was the fact that the roads where damaged, and those who were not covered with debris damage. The debris scattered everywhere made it very difficult to navigate in the area and render assistance, resulting in a much longer and more difficult recovery period. In total, 5000 people died as a result of this disaster.

The economic effects of this earthquake, which so devastating. Cleaning and repair of all damage costing millions of dollars. Local businesses, even those located directly in the areas of greatest destruction, where they can resume activities such as local public services were severely damaged and remained offline. In some cases it took up to two months for repairs.

The Japanese thought that when prepared for any eventuality. They built homes and buildings techniques and materials they thought would withstand the forces that an earthquake would create. However, despite all your preparation and planning, the result still was a disaster of colossal magnitude. Some 5,000 people lost their lives, buildings, houses, roads, highways, and all major services when damaged, and loss tremendous financial and resulting difficulties. There is no such thing as being too prepared.

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