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Thank you for your concern on the big earthquake in Kansai region called
"Hyogo-Nanbu Earthquake" (earthquake in south Hyogo). Instead of responding
to individual mail, I will report through this ascanews exploder.
This strong local earthquake happened on 1995 January 17 05:46 (JST),
badly just under the big city Kobe. Although the magnitude (7.2) is not
the biggest class in Japan, the sensmic intensity in Kobe, Ashiya, Awagi,
and Nishinomiya cities, the regions within 50 km from the hypocenter along
the Rokko-Awaji active fault, was 6 or even 7 locally. The sensmic intensity
of 5 was recorded widely in the nearby regions including Osaka and Kyoto
Damage of this earthquake was terrible. More than 3,000 persons were killed
(today's news), yet about 1,000 persons are missing. About 15,000 persons
were injured and more than 20,000 houses were collapsed. At present,
about 240,000 persons have been taking refuge to nearby safety places;
they lost houses, life lines such as electric power, gas, water and also
they are afraid of aftershocks since a few big aftershocks occur in the
following 10 days, usually in case for great earthquakes. In addition to
the destruction of such underground life lines, roads (including highways)
and railways (including Shinkansen) were completely destroied in the region,
as you may saw the pictures on the TV news.
The earthquake fires happened simultaneously in many towns after
the main shock, which is most terrible thing in Japanese cities crowded by
buildings and houses. Kobe from sky today looks like a patchy mosic of
burned towns and disordered towns. We may need for a few years to rebuilt
the beutiful city Kobe.
As you have concerned, we have also worried strongly about the safety of
the scientists and graduates of the ASCA team members in Osaka and Kyoto
universities. Fortunately they are safety, as far as I know at present,
altough they got some damages in their laobolatory facilities, instruments
and furnitures, and also I have heard a few serious damages and sad affairs
of their relatives. Of course we have been operating ASCA regulary; no
earthquake can shake ASCA.
Thank you again for your concern on the "Hyogo-Nanbu Earthquake".