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An earthquake is defined as a shaking or trembling of the earth that is volcanic or tectonic in origin In the case of the Great Hyogo Hanshin earthquake of Kobe Japan it is tectonic in origin This devastating earthquake which occurred on the 17th of January at 546 am measured at a whopping 7 72 on the Richter scale This was the largest recorded earthquake to ever hit JapanAccording to the Japan Meteorological its epicentre was in 346 north and 1350 east in the northern tip of Awaji Island with a focal depth of 14 km According to the results of the recorded in 24 observation centre the fracture which triggered the earthquake was happened inside the Nojima Fault Also investigation in the sea bed by the Ocean observatory Centre shows that the cracks occurred in Nojima Fault This fault forms a part of a group of faults known as the Rokko Fault which extends from Awaji Island through Kobe City to the foot of Mount Rokko The movement of the fault can be explained by the Tectonic characteristic of west Japan The main reason for the big earthquakes in west part of Japan are the tectonic activities of the Eurasian the Pacific the North America and the Philippine plates The collision between these plates in the central part of Honshu Japan main island is the main source of strain accumulation in the crust of western part of JapanCasualty figures quickly mounted by the hour and when it was all said and done 5472 people had lost their lives and 415000 people were left injured By the fourth day after the earthquake about 310000 residents spent the night at 1077 refugee centres More than 350 fires broke out wiping out around 100 hectares of densely populated area Fire fighting was virtually ineffective due to an inadequate water supply and access to fires Lifeline facilities were severely damaged over a large area and following the earthquake
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