March 29, 2015


Kobe City Releases Documentary Photos of Great Hanshin Earthquake

Keywords: Disaster Prevention / Reduction 

Photo: Memory of 1.17--the Great Hanshin Earthquake
Photo by Kobe City Some Rights Reserved.

Kobe City, the capital of Hyogo Prefecture in western Japan, released on December 9, 2014, documentary photographs of the Great Hanshin Earthquake, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake that struck the city on January 17, 1995, killing more than 4,000 people. The release of the photos, made available to the public through a website titled "Memory of 1.17--the Great Hanshin Earthquake," marks 20 years since the disaster. The city hopes that the website and photographs showing the process of disaster recovery will pass on various experiences and lessons to future generations.

About 1,000 photos have been published on the website. The photos are tagged to enable searching by category, such as ward, houses, roads and streets, public facilities, shelters, and temporary houses. Some of the photos were taken using stationary measurement at 13 spots in the city to visualize the recovery process from the disaster, which should help contribute to a deeper understanding of recovery efforts. As the photos in the website are permitted for secondary use, they are expected to be used in a wide range of activities.

Japan, widely known as a quake-prone country, experiences earthquakes frequently. Sad memories linger long after they occur, especially after the deadliest earthquakes. These memories should not be held on to; they need to be shared. The important thing is to learn from the past and pass those lessons down so future generations can develop new ways to prevent and prepare for disasters.