Building Damage Status

Observing the damage status of buildings seems to indicate that the worst-affected structures were the timber-frame houses with old roof-tiles within the residential area stretching for 1-2km along National Route 2 and Japan Railways. Roof-tiles in the Kansai region tend to be very heavy in order to prevent them being blown off during Typhoons, etc., and the tiles lay on a bed of clay in order to prevent humidity. It is therefore thought that in many cases this misfortune was caused by the crumbling of the roofs. Many of these houses experienced the columns of the first floor snapping and the second floor remaining, thesecond floor also being destroyed to leave only the roof, and the first-floor columns of standing houses warping.

Many shops facing onto roads were also destroyed owing to the distance maintained between columns.

Damage to medium-rise buildings was mostly observed in the densely built-up area of Kobe's Sannomiya district and in regions along the fault line. The form of the damage differed in accordance with the building, with some medium-rise buildings being totally destroyed and others receiving only proportional damage or damage to one floor. There were also medium-rise buildings which received no damage at all, and it is thought that the cause of this can be put down todifferences in structural planning and structural detail. The damage itself can be divided into a variety of causes owing to the fact that some buildings received medium levels of damage and other proportional damage to first-floor columns, so it is thought that a detailed analysis based upon the results of the survey is necessary. However, there were many old, reinforced concrete structures amongst the medi um-rise building which incurred damage, and there were differences in the floor structures and size of columns employed. There were also in-complete apartment buildings undergoing construction that were destroyed from the top-most areas.

No remarkable damage, such as collapsing or deforming, was observed in high-rise or super high-rise buildings. In addition to these building - which have become known as failing to be 'baptized' by the earthquake - conforming toconstruction ratings and being of sound construction (law stipulates that all buildings exceeding a height of 60m are subject to construction evaluations), they have dynamic designs (a method of design which incorporates the results of a computer simulation determining how much sway will occur during earthquakes and typhoons).

Damage to buildings was concentrated on the southern side of the active fault, and it has been clarified that this was caused by the vibrations in a large plate located in the southern area of the fault line. Research into the extent of the damage to each of these buildings will be continued, and the results of the analysis will be announced.

Collapsed timber-frame houses

Collapsed low-rise building (entirety)

Damage to the center portion of a medium to high-rise building

A non-damaged super high-rise building

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