Kanto Japan 1923 (Kyoto)

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Event ID
192309010258
Event name
Kanto
Country
Japan
Region in the country
Yokohama-Tokyo-Kanto Plain
World region
Asia
Epicentral coordinates (long/lat)
POINT(139.139 35.328)
WKT GIS format
GEMECD contributing partner
Kyoto
Event narrative

The 1923 Great Kanto earthquake occurred on September 1, 1923 at noon time (11:58 am).

The damage was apparently most severe at Yokohama. Damage also occurred on the Boso and Izu Peninsulas and on O-shima.

Nearly 2 m of permanent uplift was observed on the north shore of Sagami Bay and horizontal displacements of as much as 4.5 m were measured on the Boso Peninsula.

A tsunami was generated in Sagami Bay with wave heights as high as 12 m on O-shima and 6 m on the Izu and Boso Peninsulas. Sandblows were noted at Hojo which intermittently shot fountains of water to a height of 3 m.

The major damage area was around Tokyo and Kanagawa prefectures, but damage due to ground shaking was more severe in Yokohama than in Tokyo.

Date of occurrence (UTC)
1923-09-01
date
Time of occurrence (UTC)
02:58:00
time
Date of occurrence (local)
1923-09-01
date
Time of occurrence (local)
11:58:00
time
Day of the week (local)
Saturday
End date of event (optional)
1923-09-03
date
Magnitude
7.9
Magnitude units
Moment (Mw)
Focal depth
23
km
Seismological data: source
USGS
Seismological data: comment

ShakeMap Atlas

Overall impact

"Department of Social Affairs, Ministry of Interior" and "The Imperial Earthquake Investigation Committee" reported the detail of damage. However, the reported numbers are different from each other.

Most sources give death toll of 142,800 (incl. circa 42,300 missing persons) for this event but recently according to a detailed study by Moroi and Takemura (2004) the suggested total death toll was 105,385 of which 91,781 people were killed because of major conflagrations and especially the death toll caused by fire was 53,620 in Honjo-ward, Tokyo. Most of the fire-related deaths occurred at "Hifukushou" area in Honjo-ward.

The total burnt area was more than 38,346,000 square meters and burned about 381,000 of the more than 694,000 houses that were partially or completely destroyed (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/events/1923_09_01.php).

Takemura and Moroi (2004) did very detailed investigation about each location's seismic intensity, damaged buildings and victims based on Ministry of Interior and the Imperial Earthquake Investigation Committee reports.

One of their important findings was that 11,086 people died to to building collapse (the greatest loss of life due to building collapse in Japan for more than 120 years).

In addition 325 people were killed by tsunami waves that engulfed areas such as Atami and Enoshima causeway (in Sagami Bay) as well as Yuigahama in Kamakura. Around 688 people were killed due to landslides and another 1505 people died due to other causes.

Overview data
Loss: Human Casualty
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People injured
103733
number
People injured: source
Utsu's catalogue
People injured: comment

The number of injured people is 59,058 in "Rokuzo Takeuti: On victims caused by the great fire, Reports of the Imperial Earthquake Investigation Committee, No. 100, E., Tokyo, 1925 http://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/110006611093 (in Japanese)."

The number of injured people is 52,052 by Department of Social Affairs, Ministry of Interior, http://kindai.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/981915 (in Japanese).

In Utsu's catalogue the number injured is 103,733.


People seriously injured
16515
number
People seriously injured: source
Department of Social Affairs, Ministry of Interior
People seriously injured: comment

People missing: comment

The number of missing people is 43,213 in "Rokuzo Takeuti: On victims caused by the great fire, Reports of the Imperial Earthquake Investigation Committee, No. 100, E., Tokyo, 1925 http://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/110006611093 (in Japanese)."

The number of missing people is 13,275 by Department of Social Affairs, Ministry of Interior, http://kindai.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/981915 (in Japanese).

Moroi and Takemura (2004) did very detailed investigation about victims, therefore this missing value is only for information as they have included the missing persons in the total number of 105,385 victims.

People missing: status
See comments

People killed
105385
number
People killed: source
MOROI Takafumi and TAKEMURA Masayuki: Mortality Estimation by Causes of Death Due to the 1923 Kanto Earthquake, Journal of JAEE, Volume 4, Number 4, September 2004.
People killed: comment

This evaluation value includes the missing persons. http://www.jaee.gr.jp/stack/submit-j/v04n04/040402_paper.pdf


People dying post catastrophe: status
N/A

People missing due to ground shaking: status
N/A

People killed due to ground shaking
12591
number
People killed due to ground shaking: source
MOROI Takafumi and TAKEMURA Masayuki: Mortality Estimation by Causes of Death Due to the 1923 Kanto Earthquake, Journal of JAEE, Volume 4, Number 4, September 2004.
People killed due to ground shaking: comment

Of these 93.8% died due to building collapse and 6.2% due to other causes


People dying post catastrophe due to shaking: status
N/A

People killed due to tsunami
325
number
People killed due to tsunami: source
MOROI Takafumi and TAKEMURA Masayuki: Mortality Estimation by Causes of Death Due to the 1923 Kanto Earthquake, Journal of JAEE, Volume 4, Number 4, September 2004.
People killed due to tsunami: comment

This evaluation value includes the missing people. http://www.jaee.gr.jp/stack/submit-j/v04n04/040402_paper.pdf

People killed due to fire following
91781
number
People killed due to fire following: source
MOROI Takafumi and TAKEMURA Masayuki: Mortality Estimation by Causes of Death Due to the 1923 Kanto Earthquake, Journal of JAEE, Volume 4, Number 4, September 2004.
People killed due to fire following: comment

This evaluation value includes the missing people. http://www.jaee.gr.jp/stack/submit-j/v04n04/040402_paper.pdf

People killed due to slope failures
688
number
People killed due to slope failures: source
MOROI Takafumi and TAKEMURA Masayuki: Mortality Estimation by Causes of Death Due tothe 1923 Kanto Earthquake, Journal of JAEE, Volume 4, Number 4, September 2004.
People killed due to slope failures: comment

This evaluation value includes the missing people. http://www.jaee.gr.jp/stack/submit-j/v04n04/040402_paper.pdf

Loss: Building damage
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Total number of buildings destroyed
293387
number
Total number of buildings destroyed: source
Moroi and Takemura (2002)
Total number of buildings destroyed: comment

http://www.jaee.gr.jp/stack/submit-j/v02n03/020303_report.pdf (in Japanese, this number refers only to residential buildings)


Number of buildings damaged
372659
number
Number of buildings damaged: source
Moroi and Takemura (2002)
Number of buildings damaged: comment

http://www.jaee.gr.jp/stack/submit-j/v02n03/020303_report.pdf (in Japanese, this number refers only to residential buildings)


Number of dwellings destroyed: status
N/A

Number of dwellings damaged: status
N/A

Total number of buildings destroyed by shaking
109713
number
Total number of buildings destroyed by shaking: source
Moroi and Takemura (2002)
Total number of buildings destroyed by shaking: comment

http://www.jaee.gr.jp/stack/submit-j/v02n03/020303_report.pdf (in Japanese, this number refers only to residential buildings)


Number of buildings damaged by shaking
212486
number
Number of buildings damaged by shaking: source
Moroi and Takemura (2002)
Number of buildings damaged by shaking: comment

http://www.jaee.gr.jp/stack/submit-j/v02n03/020303_report.pdf (in Japanese, this number refers only to residential buildings)


Number of dwellings destroyed by shaking: comment

lack of data

Number of dwellings destroyed by shaking: status
N/A

Number of dwellings damaged by shaking: comment

lack of data

Number of dwellings damaged by shaking: status
N/A

Loss: Socioeconomic
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People homeless
767326
number
People homeless: source
Department of Social Affairs , Ministry of Interior
People homeless: comment

Taisho Shinsai Shi (in Japanese) This number does not include the Nihonbashi and Kyobashi areas. http://kindai.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/981915

People homeless: status
Greater than

Direct economic loss
9180
million US$
Direct economic loss: source
Fukazawa (2011) . Original data source is Bank of Japan
Direct economic loss: comment

http://www.ndl.go.jp/jp/data/publication/issue/pdf/0709.pdf (In Japanese. One dollar is 2.04 yen at 1923). Other sources estimate the losses at 15,600 million US$.


Indirect economic loss: status
N/A

Demographics
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Total number of buildings
11122120
number
Total number of buildings: source
National Census 1920
Total number of buildings: comment