Fire Damage, Kobe

Within minutes of the earthquake, about 100 fires had broken out mainly in densely populated areas of the city, and within one to two hours, several large infernos had developed. The buildings in the fires were a mixture of residential and commercial buildings, many constructed from timber.

Fires often occur after earthquakes due to fractured gas pipes. Buried pipes can be broken by movements in the ground, and pipes in buildings can be broken by large movements and damage in the buildings.

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   Shaken Societies
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from Bristol University