Kobe Earthquake
Kobe Earthquake
Kobe Earthquake
Vital statistics
Series Seconds from Disaster
Title Kobe Earthquake
Airdate August 30, 2005
Disaster 1995 Earthquake in Kobe
Date January 17, 1995
Kind Natural
Nature Earthquake
Fatalities 5,500

Kobe Earthquake is the 19th episode of Seconds from Disaster and goes through the riuns to find out why so many died in supposedly the world's most anti-seismic place.

Plot Edit

The Japanese city of Kobe is rocked by the Great Hanshin Earthquake which destroys most of its buildings. The driver of a bus and his passengers have a narrow escape when the earthquake causes a section in the elevated Hanshin Expressway to fall, leaving the bus dangling over the edge. Many traditional houses collapse due to the heavy-tiled roofs and bamboo walls (which are meant to be typhoon-proof, NOT earthquake-proof). Liquefaction occurs at the coastal and port areas of Kobe. Over 5,500 people die in the disaster.


An undiscovered fault-line ruptured, releasing a 7.2 on the Richter Scale, destroying buildings,
Port of Kobe Earthquake Memorial Park2

The aftermath of the earthquake

railroad, roads and bridges.Most deaths occured in the traditional house. It was made of unreinforced walls, timber poles, and a heavy roof. It was built for typhoon protection, but not earthquakes. In an earthquake, the house would "pancake collapse." Most of the old buildings were devastated becuase the codes they followed were in 1964, that was horribly outdated. THe only surviving buildings were those that followed the 1981 codes. There was no law that required exsisting buildings to be modified for new codes.