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26th anniversary of Great Hanshin Earthquake observed

Events were held on Saturday night and Sunday morning to mark the 26th anniversary of the Great Hanshin Earthquake in Hyogo Prefecture.
The magnitude 7.3 earthquake, which struck at 5:46 a.m. on Jan 17, 1995, killed 6,434 people in Hyogo Prefecture and neighboring areas.
On Saturday night, 6,434 bamboo lanterns were lit and arranged in the figures 1.17 and the kanji characters for “Ganbaro” (Let’s do our best), at Higashi Yuenchi Park in Chuo Ward, Kobe, to pay tribute to the victims and also to rally people in the fight against the coronavirus, Fuji TV quoted organizers as saying. Hyogo Prefecture is currently under a state of emergency. On Sunday morning, several hundred people gathered at the park at 5:46 a.m. to offer prayers for the victims.
In Ashiya, children brought flowers and offered prayers at a memorial ceremony at Seido Elementary School that was used as an evacuation center for two weeks after the quake. Eight students of the school died in the quake.
The quake buried residents in flattened buildings and uprooted highway overpasses and train tracks, while fires raged through collapsed timber houses and acrid smoke darkened the sky.
Heavy damage to the harbor area, where nearly all of the 300 shipping berths were destroyed, dealt a severe blow to the city's economy, sparking a population exodus over the following months and years.
About 40% of Kobe's current residents were either born after the quake or moved to the city in the years following the disaster, according to city officials.


© Japan Today
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