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Kobe Earthquake Assessment

“Why did SO MANY people die in Kobe on January 17th 1995?”

The task is to produce a report for the Japanese government about the earthquake. The report should be organised into 3 sections. The suggested sections are listed below, along with some weblinks that should be of use for each section. You can take a look at the assessment criteria (using National Curriculum levels) too on page 3 of this document.

Japan- the most technologically
 advanced country in the world?

1: WHY did the Kobe quake happen?

Here you must explain ALL the factors that caused the 1995 quake to happen.  It would be helpful if you included labelled diagrams and possibly some maps too.

Earthquake scienceInformative with some nice simple diagram

Tectonic Setting of the Kobe Earthquake: This site provides maps and diagrams, along with explanations of the geographical causes underlying the quake – beware: It is quite technical!

Geography Jim’s Kobe earthquake pages: This is a great site aimed at students i.e. You!!  Some good introductory material here too.

Kobe Earthquake: Another site useful for providing maps and helping you explain WHY Kobe suffered this quake

MSNBC Earthquakes information pages: Some great graphics and animations showing just what is going on beneath the Earth’s crust to cause earthquakes

2. HOW did it affect Kobe?

Here you must explain the many different ways that people, and the city itself, were affected by the quake.  You should also explain WHY the damage was so SEVERE! 

Pictures, eyewitness accounts would be good here.  Be aware that, as you discovered in the case of Mrs Endo, many of the factors are linked.

Japan/Kobe earthquake images: The name of this link says it all!

EQE Report on the Kobe Earthquake: This site goes into great depth on how this quake affected many aspects of Kobe life…transport, buildings etc…Again it is quite technical…be selective in what you use and understand!

3. WHAT LESSONS should be learned from Kobe?

Here you should deal with what needs to be done in Kobe, and all Japanese cities, to ensure that this kind of loss of life and destruction is greatly reduced in the future.  You should also consider HOW we can better prepare large cities for earthquakes of this scale.

Preparing for earthquakes: This site gives lots of information about ways to prepare as an individual

Earthquake preparation and planning LINKS: Provides many weblinks to sites on this topic


If you would like to see how this is assessed, please click here