Saturday, 17 January 2015

20 years on from Kobe...

Those who have been teaching as long as I have, will remember the earthquake that took place in January 1995 in the city of Kobe (the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake). It became the case study for the impact of earthquakes on a city for many years, along with the fate of Mr. and Mrs. Endo, immortalised in an early mystery / card sort.

Cards from BST (PDF download)

It's 20 years since the quake struck.... it happened at 5.46am - timing which impacted on the casualty numbers and the way the city was affected, along with other factors which emerged in the weeks that followed. 
The city gathered today to remember those who died...

Interesting detail from the Japan Times article - a reminder of the complexity of connections between natural events and human geographies:

One legacy of the quake was the birth of a national volunteer movement for disaster relief. Many residents and those who arrived from other parts of Japan — and from overseas — in the ensuing days to help with rescue efforts, formed NGOs and NPOs that travel around Japan and the world whenever earthquakes, floods or other disasters occur.
Locally, Kobe and Hyogo universities are attracting Japanese and foreign students interested in studying its disaster response policies and volunteerism.
Meanwhile, there are about 36,000 people still living in 273 public housing projects built for those who lost their homes. Just over half are at least 65 years old. Over the past two decades, more than 1,000 who were living alone died.
These public housing units, which are now being rented by the occupants, are supposed to be returned to the local governments that own them by 2020. But pressure is growing on officials to let them stay.
Ido has said figuring out how to take care of those residents and other elderly victims of the quake will be one of Hyogo’s greatest challenges in the years ahead.

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