At 05.46 on 17th January 1995 an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale struck the heavily populated city of Kobe, Japan. The earthquake occurred along the destructive plate boundary where the Pacific and the Philippine Plate (oceanic) meet the Eurasian (continental) plate.
Many freeways and buildings were destroyed, despite the strict building regulations, and 5000 were killed. Fires spread as a result of broken gas mains. 250,000 people were left homeless.