The January 1995 Hyogoken Nanbu earthquake devastated the port city of Kobe, Japan, with widespread damage to the built environment and great loss of life. The earthquake damaged buildings, bridges, industrial and transportation infrastructure, ports and harbors, and telecommunications systems. The direct and indirect losses from this earthquake were felt around the world.
Following the 1995 earthquake, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture initiated a five-year research program that addressed a wide variety of issues relating to the impact of a near-field earthquake on a major urban center. The issues addressed public policy, human response, risk assessment and management, response planning and disaster recovery, geotechnical and structural engineering, and engineering seismology. The five-year research endeavor was completed in March 2000. Much new information was gathered and promulgated in Japan. The results of the Japanese research are summarized in a 700+ page report entitled Confronting Urban Earthquakes.
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