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Report of the Survey on the Building Damages
and Its Related Injuries in the Great Hanshin
(Kobe) Earthquake, 1995




In Japanese, please click here.

A. Number of injured/dead residents in the Quake occurred
at 5:46 am on 17 January 1995 in the surveyed area

1.Among the 120 households surveyed, the number of households with injured/dead residents is 20 and
this@indicates the prevalence of 16.7 percent among the whole households surveyed.

2.Total number of residents living in the surveyed households is 277 residents.
Among the residents, 24 people suffered injury/death in the Earthquake.
Thus injury/death rate is 8.7 percent.

B. Place where the residents were when the main quake happened

1. The main quake happened at 5:46 am on 17th January.
It is revealed that 99.6 percent of the residents were at their residence.
And the exact place where they were in the residence was in the bed room for 98.2 percent of the
surveyed residents.

2. As for the floor,60.1 percent of the residents were on the first floor at the time of the main
quake happened.
In reviewing by age group, for residents aged 65 and over,73.4 percent of the aged people were
on the first floor. Besides it,under 64 years of age, 51.5 percent were on the first floor.

3. In the Hanshin Earthquake, many aged people died due to the earthquake.
Above facts seem to show one of the causes for the higher mortality for the aged population who are
usually living on the first floor in the Japanese houses.
Looking at the building damages in the quake, the first floor of the wood made traditional Japanese
houses was seriously damaged.

C. Building structure and injury/death

1.On a basis of households, it was found that in the surveyed area, among 120 households,
102 households, 85.0 percent,were the free standing,traditional wood made type houses.

2.In the households with this building structure, 17 households had injured/dead
residents. Its prevalence rate is 16.7 percent.

3.The traditional Japanese houses which are built using wood in the western part of Japan historically
tend to employ the tile roof used mud.The mud is adopted to fix the tiles to the basic structure of the roof.
Another reason for using the mud is to make resistent the roof against the strong wind of Typhoon.

4.The survey founds that of 120 households, 94 households ,78.3 percent, have the tile roof used mud.
And 17 households with the roof structure have injured/dead residents.
This fact gives the prevalence rate of 85.0 percent for the households with the building structure,
among the 20 households with injured/dead residents.

D. Elapsed year after construction of the buildings and injury/death

1. Average year elasped after construction of the buildings for the surveyed households was 32.3 years.
The most frequently observed houses were 25-49 years and they occupy 56.9 percent of the whole
households surveyed.

2. The survey result shows that there is a typical tendency with the increase of the elapsed year,
the prevalence of households with injured/dead residents become higher, and after 70 years
it records 66.7 percent.

Elapsed year
0-19years ...... 16.0 percent
20-39 ............ 10.9
40-59............. 23.5
60 & over ....... 35.7

E. Behavior of residents just before, during and after the main quake

1. Just before the main quake, 272 residents, 98.2 percent, of the 277 residents surveyed were sleeping.

2. During the shaking, 130 residents, 46.9 percent, responded that they got under the Futon quilt in
their beds. It is followed by another 33.9 percent of the residents who did nothing during the main
quake shaking.

3. As for the actions taken by the residents after the main quake shaking, the first action taken was
" did nothing" for 35.6 percent of the residents. The most frequently observed actions followed were
" did nothing " for the second and third actions.
It shows that the main shaking was extremely strong for residents who had no such experiences
in the past.

F. Preparation against disaster

1. Of the 120 households surveyed, 99 households, 82.5 percent, responded that they have prepared
to disaster by having first aid kit. The second measure taken is to keep an electric torch
for emergency for 22.5 percent which were responded in the category of another measure.

2. Another effective measures,such as preserving supplementary foods and water and preventing
measures for falling down of furniture and apparatus in the house were employed
by only 6.7 percent and 4.2 percent of the surveyed households respectively.

G. Type and degree of building damages and injury/death

1. Among the whole household buildings surveyed, 29.2 percent of the households had
partial collapse in the quake. The second frequently observed one was half collapse
with the percentage of 26.7 . Households with no building damage were only 8
households, 6.7 percent.

2. The most seriously damaged households( houses) which are categorized as " total collapse:
completely collapsed" were 16 households and they share 13.3 percent of all houses surveyed.
Among 16 households with the total collapse: completely collapsed, 8 households,
50.0percent, had residents with injured/dead. This occupies 40.0 percent of the
whole households with the injured/dead residents.

3. By analyzing the combined category of the building damages and human damages,
the free standing house, trditional wood made with tile roof used mud accounts for 69.2
perecnt of the surveyed households. Among of them, 16 households had injured/dead residents.
The prevalence rate of the households with the injured/dead residents is
19.3 percent.

H. Type/part/cause of injury

1. There were 13 female injured/dead residents among 24 injured/dead residents found
with the Survey in the area surveyed and they share 54.2 percent of the whole
injured/dead residents.

2. By age class, the injured/dead residents in the age category of 60-79 years were the
most prevalent one and they share 58.3 percent of the whole injured/dead residents.

3. As for the part of injury, 41.7 percent of the injured/dead residents had injury in legs.
For the type of injury, the most frequent one was " bruise, sprain" and it was reported by
54.2 percent of the residents with injury/death.

4. Looking at the cause of injury, it is revealed that the cause " trapped under furniture/
electric apparatus" is the leading one with the percentage of 45.8.

Trapped under funiture/apparatus ...........45.8 %
Broken piece of glass, metal, building....... 25.0
Trapped under building(ceiling,pillar)........ 16.7
Fall................................................... 4.2
Other causes....................................... 4.2
Unknown............................................. 4.2

I. Resure and utilization of health/medical care

1. Among the 22 injured residents, 9 residents, 40.9 percent of all of the injured residents
were rescued . Eight injured residents were rescued by his/her family member.

2. As for the use of health/medical care after having the injury, 27.3 percent of the 22 injured
residents utilized the services. Among 6 residents who used health/medical care after having
the injury, 4 residents, 66.7 percent, admitted as inpatient to hospitals.

3. Responses by the injured residents who did not used health/medical care show that almost
half of them responded as their reason for not using the service for " other reason".
Typical and frequent one was " their injuries were not so serious and did not need to have
care at hospital."

4. Residents with injury who did not utilized health/ medical care also reported that 22.7
percent of them treated themselves at their home using the first aid kit and another 22.7
percent did not have any care
or treatment.

J. Mental/psychological shock due to the earthquake

1. Among 275 injured residents, 220 residents, 80.0 percent of the surveyed residents
( except the dead residents), reported their shock or metally unstable status. Observing
by sex, 84.4 percent of female residents have had it and 75.0percent of male residents
did as well.

2. After one year since the occurrence of the earthquake, there are residents who still
have mentally and/or psychologically unstable status and its proportion is 30.2 perecnt
of the whole residents surveyed (except the dead residents).
This fact indicates the importance of the PTSD treatment and another mental health
programs after the disaster.

3. Percentage distribution of the residents who have had mental/psychological shocks
due to the earthquake by period

( % ): 100.0=All residents surveyed, =Residents with shock

3 days..................... 0.7 ........................ 0.9
10 days .................. 0.4 ........................ 0.5
1 month.................. 3.6 ........................ 4.5
2 months ................ 4.7 ........................ 5.9
3 months............... 12.7 ....................... 15.9
5 months................ 1.5 ........................ 1.8
6 months............... 17.5 ...................... 21.8
10 months.............. 2.5 ........................ 3.2
Currently having..... 30.2 ....................... 37.7
Unknown................ 6.2 ......................... 7.7

4. An extremely limited number of the residents with the mentally and/or psycologically unstable
status have had received its care and it was only 0.7 percent of the 275 residents surveyed.

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1. This survey is planned and conducted by the Study Committee of the Building
Damages and Its Related Injuries in the Hanshin Earthquake.

2. Selection of the samples and its size : Sample households to be surveyed in the Earthquake
disaster area were selected intentionally in the parts of Takarazuka City, Kawanishi City and
Nishinomiya City in Hyogo Prefecture. Number of sample households are 120 households
and their 277 household members are surveyed.

3. The three cities are located at the east-northern end of the severe quake area with
the seismic intencity 7. It is estimated that the three city areas had the seismic intencity levels 6-7.

4. Survey items

Place where the residents were when the quake happened
Building structure and its damages
Behavior of the residents just before, during and
after the quake
Preparation to disaster
Injury/death due to the earthquake
Rescue activity
Health/medical care utilization
Mental/psychological shock due to the earthquake
Other relevant items

5. Survey method and field work period

Interviewers visited the selected households and explained the objectives of the survey,
contents of the questionnaire and methods for filling in the questionnaire. Interviewers
revisited the households and collected the completed questionnaires.

The field works were carried out during the period
15 th January - 22 nd February 1996.

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This summary is based on the Report of the Survey on the Building Damages
and Its Related Injuries in the Great Hanshin Earthquake.

The Report is published by the Committee.
Copy and other rightis reserved by the Survey Committee.

Your inquiry might be addressed to :

Secretary of the Committee:
Etsuko Kita : International Medical Center of Japan(Ex.)
Masumi Akagi: International Medical Center of Japan(Ex.)

1-21-1 Toyama, Shinjuku-ku,Tokyo,Japan 162
FAX: 03-3202-4853

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