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The earthquakes in Kobe and in Northridge

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Earthquakes happen all over the world and at many different magnitudes. The earthquakes in Kobe, Japan and in Northridge, California happened almost exactly a year apart, halfway around the world. How were these massive earthquakes so different, but also alike in many ways? These quakes were similar from the technical point. on the cities they happened in. Kobe is also very different from Northridge because of the degree of damage and destruction done to the cities. The earthquakes in Kobe and in Northridge were very similar because of they way they affected the surrounding cities and computers.

The earthquake in Kobe was a 6. 9 magnitude quake and Northridge was a 6. 7 on the moment magnitude scale. These two earthquakes are some of the stronger earthquakes that have happened in more modern history. In both of these instances, the sizemoniters were not big enough to comprehend the size of these two earthquakes. Around Kobe, nobody knew that it had really hit them because there was no way to communicate the size to Tokyo. In Northridge, The computers got confused by the size and ended up having square tops on the graphs.

Another similarity between these two were where the epicenters were. In California, the epicenter was in the San Fernando Valley about 10 miles away from Northridge. In Japan, The epicenter was SW of the center of Kobe, right on the border of it and the Ocean. Overall, both earthquakes were similar. Earthquakes Kobe and Northridge had damage, but the extent of damage done to Kobe was far worse. In Japan, around 5,400 people died and hundreds of thousands were homeless. In California, only 54 people died and 125,000 people were temporarily homeless.

The main reason for this drastic difference is how populated the cities were and how well it was built. Kobe was a very crowded city and people were basically living on top of each other in poorly built apartments or small, crowded house built out of wood and held together using mud and straw. Northridge is a more suburban city located near the mountains. They had a much smaller community and were less populated. In Japan, they have to supply moire gas so they had more gas pipes.

After the earthquake, most people that had died, died from house fires from the gas leaks. This was a major problem. One more difference was the cost of damage they both did. Northridge lost 42 billion dollars from the quake but, Kobe lost a grand total of 147 billion dollars. When you compare these two disasters, Northridge doesn’t come close to the degree of damage done with the human lives lost, cost of damage, and the way the cities were planned, these two earthquakes couldn’t have been more different within the circumstances.

The earthquakes in Kobe and Northridge are similar because of the location and type of earthquake they were. For both of these quakes, they were on fault lines that were supposedly dormant. This caused some troubles because they thought an earthquakes epicenter would never be there. They both have mountains surrounding the cities. When the earthquake happenes, the energy waves go towards the mountains and bounce back making the amount of enery waves colliding even higher.

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