The January 17, 1995 Hyogoken-Nanbu earthquake of magnitude 7.2 in JMA scale (Mw = 6.9), which struck Kobe, Japan and its surrounding area was the most severe earthquake to affect that region this century. The earthquake resulted in more than 6,000 deaths and over 30,000 injuries. Fires following the earthquake incinerated the equivalent of 70 U.S. city blocks. They together destroyed over 150,000 buildings and left about 300,000 people homeless. The economic loss as a result of this earthquake is estimated to reach $200 billion.
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