Kobe and the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995

Photo credit to: https://www.yahoo.com

Kobe, a city in western Japan, marked the 23rd anniversary of an earthquake that measured 7.3 on the Richter scale and claimed the lives of 6,434 people on Wednesday.

 

At exactly 5:46 a.m., survivors braved the heavy rain to observe a moment of silence on Jan. 17, 1995, the exact same time and date when the Great Hanshin Earthquake struck the city west of Osaka.

 

At a memorial event held at a public park in Kobe, citizens lit 7,000 bamboo lanterns arranged to spell out the time and date of the disaster, along with the Kanji character that means “passing on”.

 

Authorities say that handing down experiences to the younger generation is crucial to Japan as it has seen it’s fair share of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and super typhoons in the last few years. Japan and it’s population are even bracing for a super earthquake called the Nankai Trough megaquake.

 

A 38-year- old Kobe, Satoe Hirashima resident who lost a 4-year- old relative in the quake at the time said that he can still recall the child’s friendly smile and wanted to talk not just about the number of people that died that day but to keep talking about experiences when they lived.

 

Pledging to build a disaster-proof city, the Mayor of Kobe Mayor said that they would continue to remember and support offerings to the deceased and to keep contributing to disaster prevention and reduction. They are also making the city stronger by making buildings last longer during such earthquakes.

 

Survivors of the deadly March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the Tohoku region also offered silent prayers. They also know what it’s like to lose everything and they too are recovering and making themselves disaster-proof.

 

Some of them joined a memorial ceremony for the 1995 quake held at a park in the city of Nishinomiya in Hyogo Prefecture along with more than 100 local participants.

 

Reference: Kobe marks 23 years since Great Hanshin Earthquake that killed more than 6,400

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