Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Kobe earthquake: An urban disaster



The January 17,1995, Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake was the most damaging to strike Japan since the great Kanto earthquake destroyed large areas of Tokyo and Yokohama and killed 143,000 people in 1923. As of January 30, the toll from the earthquake in Kobe and adjacent cities had reached 5,096 dead, 13 missing, and 26,797 injured. One-fifth of the city's 1.5 million population was left homeless and more than 103,521 buildings were destroyed. The Hyogo

Prefectural Government estimated the cost of restoring basic functions to be about $100 billion dollars; the total losses including losses of privately owned property and reduction in business activity may be twice this amount, which would be 10 times higher than losses resulting from the 1994 Northridge, Calif., earthquake.