Q:

Why did the Great Kanto earthquake happen?

A:

Quick Answer

According to Smithsonian magazine, the Great Kanto earthquake was caused by a seismic fault line six miles below the floor of Sagumi Bay. Close to noon on September 1, 1923, a 60 square mile portion of the Philippine oceanic plate ruptured and smashed into the Eurasian continental plate. This event produced a burst of tectonic energy that traumatized Japan.

  Know More

Full Answer

Considered one of the worst natural disasters in Japan's history, the Great Kanto earthquake damaged much of Tokyo and Yokohama. Smithsonian magazine explains that the earthquake's intense jolt triggered large tsunamis and widespread fires. With a death toll of 140,000 and extensive infrastructure damage, the earthquake is thought to have ignited intense nationalist and racist passions, which fueled right wing groups as the country struggled between military expansion and a quest towards democracy.

The initial tremors of the Great Kanto earthquake lasted for 14 seconds, according to Smithsonian magazine. The shaking brought down the majority of buildings in Tokyo and Yokohama, and the cities were unequipped to handle an earthquake of such magnitude. Since building were largely made of wood, intense fires, fanned by strong winds, burned nearly 45 percent of Tokyo to the ground before they were finally quelled two days later.

Learn more about Earthquakes

Try a quiz

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How did the Shaanxi earthquake happen?

    A:

    According to the Encyclop?dia Britannica, the Shaanxi earthquake occurred due to movement along the three major fault lines that form the basin of the Wei River. Considered to be the most deadly earthquake in history, the 1556 earthquake left approximately 830,000 people dead and altered the landscape of the Shaanxi province.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What caused the Indonesian earthquake?

    A:

    The 2004 Indonesian earthquake was caused by the earth's Indian plate moving underneath the Burma plate, causing a massive release of seismic stress and resulting in faults. This led to earthquakes and tsunamis in 14 Asian countries. It is also known as the Indian Ocean earthquake or the Sumatra earthquake.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What caused the Tangshan earthquake?

    A:

    The Tangshan earthquake was caused by the shift of faults located under the city, such as the Tangcheng-Lijiang fault. Northern China has a high level of seismic activity and, in 1974, scientists predicted a large earthquake would hit the region within 2 years. The Tangshan earthquake occurred on July 28, 1976.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What caused the 2008 Sichuan earthquake?

    A:

    The 2008 Sichuan earthquake was caused by seismic activities that focused along the Longmenshan fault, a massive fault structure located between the Eurasian Plate and the Indo-Australian Plate. This caused a rupture along the fault, displacing land by up to 9 meters over approximately 90 seconds.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore