Kobe, Japan - case study at a local scale

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  • Kobe, Japan - case study at a local scale
    • Physical nature of the hazard
      • 17th January 1995
      • Magnitude of 6.8
      • Kobe was struck by a typhoon 6 months after the event
      • Epicentre 20km from Kobe
      • Costliest urban disaster - $100 billion
    • Risk & Vulnerbaility
      • The Japanese felt that they were prepared - an illusion of preparation in the city
      • People were caught unaware by the severity of the event
      • There were too many older traditional houses - heavy tiles on roof, killed & injured many people
      • Kobe had not had an earthquake for 400 years - not maintained sufficient emergency supplies
      • The Japanese government poorly managed the aftermath of the event - they made people more vulnerable to the event by being slow to react - refusing offers of help from foreign government
    • How do economic, social & political characteristics reflects the impacts of the earthquake?
      • Economic
        • $100 billion of economic damage - 2.5% of Japan's GDP
        • Those whose dwellings had been seriously damaged/ destroyed faced financial ruin too as only 3% of the city's buildings were insured
        • Buildings destroyed by fire when the gas mains fractured
      • Social
        • Over 6,000 people killed, 35,000 injured and nearly ¼ milion homeless
        • Amny people suffered from emotional problems - drop in moral of communities
        • Refugees moved into temporary housing
      • Political
        • The Japanese government poorly manged the aftermath of the event - refusing offers of help from foreign government
    • How has the city learnt from the earthquake of 1995?
      • The Japanese government issued a document setting out its policy towards such disaster stricken areas
      • A vast number of conferences  & research studies  were conducted. From these, the city council considers the following to be the most important lessons to be learned:
        • Improved seismic resistance of existing buildings
        • Improve the fire fighting capacity
        • Protecting life lines
        • Community participation - awareness & education programmes
        • NGOs


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