Why did the Kobe earthquake happen?

The earthquake of Kobe occurred at 5.46 am, on Tuesday January 17th, 1995. the earthquake was caused by a destructive plate boundary; the much denser oceanic Philippine plate was forced underneath the less dense continental Eurasian plate causing a build up of a high amount of pressure in the earth's crust. Once that pressure is released then earthquakes occur like the one in Kobe.
The earthquake was caused by two of three tectonic plates colliding due to stress in the crust. The country wasn't prepared so this led to even more drastic damage to the large port and town of Kobe. 5000 people were killed in a 20 second earthquake this shows that all contras need to prepare for the worst if thy are at least a 45% chance of having an earthquake.The names of these plates are The Eurasian Plate, the Philippines Plate, and the pacific plate. The earthquake was caused by the pacificplate slipping under the philippines plate, however when the friction becomes to great, the pressure continues to build and one big push hgappens to overcome the friction this jolt is wwhat the earthquake is.


As you know that earthquakes are natural hazards, which occur on plate margins. Earthquakes are the result of plate movements. The strain builds up along the fault line between two plates until they move causing earthquakes. Japan is at a high risk to earthquakes. Unfortunately it lies above a destructive plate margin. Kobe is located above where the Philippines crust (oceanic crust) and the Eurasian crust (continental crust) meet. It was along this fault that the caused the earthquake that hit Kobe.

  1. The Philippine plate went beneath the Eurasian plate (due to it's higher density) at a destructive plate boundry
  2. This caused serious tension to build up
  3. When the pressure was released the earthquake occured.

The focus of the earthquake was within 20 km of Down town Kobe

The epicenter of the earthquake was on Awaji Island, around 20 kilometers south of Kobe.