Damage to Civil Engineering Structures


Civil engineering structures were subject to enormous damage, considered to be worse than that incurred during the Great Kanto Earthquake, and this included the collapse of overhead Shinkansen rails, the collapse of overhead rails belonging to the Hanshin Hankyu Electric Railways, and the collapse and overturning of the main supports of the expressway.

This exceedingly shocking form of damage occurred to the sc overhead support--Mos, considered modern when built, between Ashiya Post Office and Uozaki. Many of the other overhead supports which received damage were constructed between 1965 and 1975, and most of them were designed and installed in accordance with the design policies of the day. The removal of these damage supports was carried out at a frantic pace in order to secure emergency transportation routs and enable recovery work to continue.

Damage also occurred in underground structures made of the same material in the metropolis. Underground structures were always considered safe from the effects of earthquakes until now, but subsidence also occurred to the roads which inters ect the Kobe Expressway. This subsidence caused the central pillar on the underground platform and the station ceiling of Daikai Station to collapse. It is thought that the main reason for the collapse of the underground station's central pillar was the fact that the epicenter of the quake was nearby and the fact that the rate of lateral movement was greater than originally provided for in the design, which indicates that greater care should be taken on cause surveys in the future.

Reports have been issued regarding the damage to harbor facilities following the earthquakes which struck the areas surrounding Hokkaido between 1993 and 1994. The Hanshin earthquake also inflicted damage on harbour facilities, but the scale of the damage exceeded anything ever experienced before. Immense damage was especially inflicted upon the caisson sheet breakwaters of man-made islands such as Port Island and Rokko Island. The damagereceived by the harbor facilities on the East Kobe Wharf included heavy subsidence of the apron (approximately 3 to 4 meters) owing to polder liquification of the caisson-style banks. Similar forms of damage appeared all over this area, and it has been cal culated that a minimum of three years and a budget of 940 billion will be required to effect recovery.

The Hanshin earthquake inflicted enormous damage on civil engineering structures , and it is thought that the cause of this damage will be solved by further dama ge surveys.

From now on we will clarify the damage that could have been foreseen with the use of these considerations and establish methods of obtaining damage information in the immediate aftermath of an earthquake. We are also looking into the possibility of reviewing anti-earthquake capabilities to ensure hospitals, schools and other places of evacuation can remain free from disaster by analyzing the flow and process of the damage.



The East Kobe's ferry wharf with its damaged apron



The overturned overhead supports of the Kobe line of the Hanshin Expressway



Road subsidence over Daikai Station on the Kobe Express Railway



Daikai Station's collapsed central pillar


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