Flashcards in Kobe (MEDC): Causes And Impacts Of An Earthquake And Evaluation Of The Management Response Deck (9)
Background of the earthquake
The earthquake in Kobe, Japan, 1995, was measured 7.2 on the Richter Scale.
Cause of the earthquake in terms of plates 
1. Japan is on a destructive plate boundary between the Pacific plate and the Philippine plate.
2. These plates dip underneath the Eurasian plate.
3. They experience friction as they bend and descend into the mantle which causes pressure to build up.
4. When the pressure is finally released it causes a severe earthquake.
Short term impacts on people 
1. 200,000 buildings collapsed and 5,500 people died
2. A 1 km stretch of the Hanshin Expressway collapsed
3. 250,000 people were made homeless and many were forced to camp outdoors in night temperatures of -2 degrees C
Long term impacts on people 
1. Water, gas and electricity were not fully restored until 6 months later
2. The Hanshin Expressway closed for over a year.
3. Unemployment as a result of the closure of Mitsubishi and Panasonic factories.
Short term impact on the environment
Liquefaction occurred when water in clay rock below parts of Kobe rose up and turned the soil into mud, causing buildings to collapse.
Long term impact on the environment
Most commercial buildings had to be repaired or replaced to higher safety standards.
Explain the management response in terms of prediction and precaution 
1. Earthquake drills take place every year on the anniversary of the disastrous 1923 Tokyo earthquake. These allow individuals and emergency teams to practice and improve their responses.
2. People keep earthquake kits in their homes. They contain blankets, bottled water, rice and a radio.
Describe the immediate responses to the earthquake.
1. Fire crews from Kobe, Kyoto and Osaka immediately attempted to put out the fires.
2. Emergency food and shelter was provided from elsewhere in Japan.