Preliminary Report on The Great Hanshin Earthquake January 17, 1995

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Abstract

The Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) received in an extremely serious light the severe damage to various infrastructures, caused by the Hyogoken-Nanbu Earthquake, which occurred in early morning of 17th January. It immediately took the step of organising investigation teams and dispatched them to the disaster area with the aim of elucidating the causes of the damage and thus contributing to the progress of seismic engineering and to the implementation of disaster prevention measures. On the day following the occurrence of the earthquake, the First Study Team, headed by Prof. Jushiro Tamura of Nihon University, chairman of the JSCE Committee on Seismic Engineering, and consisting mainly of researchers in seismic engineering and structural mechanics, was sent to the area for an emergency survey of the damage to the infrastructures. This was followed by the formation and dispatch of the Second Team, headed by me (Prof. Hideo Nakamura of the University of Tokyo), on 22nd January, for a comprehensive survey of the structural and functional damage to and progress of restoration work on railways, roads, port facilities and lifeline utilities. This emergency symposium is being held to provide an opportunity for making brief presentations of the findings of these two study teams. The damage was sa extensive to a variety of structures and sa broadly spread one different areas, the further detailed studies and analyses will be required before any firm conclusions may be drawn on many of the items studied. The views presented here are, in a large number of cases, not consensual description by the Society, but the opinions of individual members of the study teams. However, I am sure that it is our duty to hold an emergency symposium and to make known to the public the findings as quickly as possible. To continue with the surveys on the damage and restoration work, a Third Study Team, headed by Prof. Minoru Matsuo of Nagoya University, was sent to the disaster area on 1st February. The JSCE will take steps to report the findings of this and subsequent study teams at the earliest date possible. In addition, the JSCE will conduct detailed and systematic studies and analyses of the survey results, and present its findings to the public bath in Japan and abroad in the form of a "Report of the Study on the Great Hanshin Earthquake" . As members of the JSCE, we intend to devote the maximum amount of effort possible to restoration and reconstruction work in this wake of the earthquake and to the reduction of potential damage in future earthquakes. We entreat all those concerned to favor us with their cooperation and support to these ends.

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