The Great Kanto Earthquake

By Sean

Where it was

The great Kanto Earthquake shook Japan on the 1 of September 1923. The earthquake started beneath Sagami Bay, Yokohama, 80 km away south of Tokyo.

Kanto earthquake

Tuesday, Jan. 9th 1923 at 3am

Yokohama, Japan

How bad it was

The power of the earthquake registered a massive 8.3 on the Richter scale and the ground shook for nearly five minutes. A staggering 100,000 people were killed and 300,000 buildings were destroyed.

What happened after

The earthquake was soon followed by a killer tsunami, which swept people and their houses out to sea. More deaths were caused by the many fires that broke out among the paper and wood houses. These building materials had been specially chosen to make the homes safer in an earthquake but instead they provided fuel for the raging flames. A second major blasted the area 24 hours later and minor after shocks followed in the next few days

Reduced to rubble

The force of the earthquake was so great that the floor of Sagami bay split.

Worldwide response

News of the devastating earthquake flashed around the world and many countries rushed to Japan's aid with relief supplies

Collecting the bodies

The first task associated with the dead bodies was a practical necessity: removal from the streets, open spaces, and waterways of Tokyo. Eventually, fifteen sites across Tokyo were designated as collection centers. Over 300 city employees used motorized carts, horse-drawn wagons, and pushcarts to collect the dead. By 11 September, the Ōsaka mainichi shinbun reported that municipal officials had collected 47,200 bodies. They removed another 10,525 from Tokyo’s rivers and canals.


Volcanoes and earthquakes

By Dr Eldridge M.Moores. 1995 Weldon Owen Pty Ltd